Maureen Keese, who was a devoted and cherished Board of Directors member for Healthy Connections, Inc., passed away this week. Maureen dearly loved our organization and mission and much of what we are today, and what we are trying to become, is a tribute to her and the work she did with our board over the past eight years.

“Maureen Keese was an amazing individual who helped so many in the community. She will be seriously missed and leaves a huge void,” said Healthy Connections CEO Tony Calandro. “She was one of our strongest supporters and biggest advocates and we will miss her presence within our Healthy Connections family.”

Maureen grew up in Newark, N.J., and attended Rutgers University before moving to California. She earned degrees from California State University Long Beach, Pepperdine University, and Azusa Pacific University, and began a career in education. In 2003, she and husband Dr. Hector Costamagna relocated to Arkansas. She began work at the University of Arkansas-Rich Mountain where she served as Director of Lifelong Learning and Program Development.

She joined the Healthy Connections, Inc., Board of Directors in 2012 to complete the term of a departing member. She stayed on for two additional terms on the board. Her experience in education, and healthcare marketing and administration, gave her a unique perspective in working to improve the quality of healthcare offered to our communities.

“What we had with Maureen was the epitome of an interested, enthusiastic volunteer. She served admirably, trying to make a difference in our community – both as a volunteer at Healthy Connections and through her job at UA-Rich Mountain,” said Derwood Brett, Chairman of the Healthy Connections Board of Directors. “We added several clinics when she was on the board. She never lost her excitement to make a difference. We are going to miss her.”

Maureen Keese was 69-years-old.