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About Cindy Wheeler

Cindy has been providing Aftercare to families served by Antila Funeral Service since 1998. Cindy Jo (Heikkinen) is a native of L'Anse, Michigan. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work from Ferris State University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work from Michigan State University. Cindy is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Work (ACSW), and is a Certified Social Worker in Michigan. Additionally, she holds certification as a School Social Worker and is a Certified Addiction Counselor.

Cindy has experience in medical social work, mental health, child and family services, and school social work. She has provided contractual services in psychotherapy and addiction, emergency psychiatric services, home health, and has been a past consultant in 6 different long term care facilities. "I feel fortunate to have worked in a variety of settings and with various age populations. These experiences are invaluable to me. For the past five years, I have worked part time at the school and then supplemented my work there. My involvement with grief and loss has been helpful in other areas as well, such as addiction, mood disorders, life transitions and relationship issues. Grief work is life changing, it moves one through their loss and toward self discovery."

Cindy's work with grief and loss began in 1980 when she was employed as a Social Worker in a long term care facility in Lansing, Michigan. In 1984 she became a trained hospice volunteer with Northern Lights Hospice, one of the first all volunteer Hospices in Michigan, based out of Calumet Public Hospital. She volunteered with Northern Lights until its disbanding. "Northern Lights provided hospice care to families prior to Medicare hospice services being available in this area."

She was a stay at home mom for ten years prior to taking a full time position with Houghton County Medical Care, where she worked for nine years. "Both my hospice volunteering, and then work at Houghton County, was significant in guiding and preparing me for my work with grief and bereavement."

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