Sparrow Foundation welcomes new board members, officers

Sylvia Buie

Published: July 20, 2017

LANSING, MI – A longtime East Lansing education leader has been appointed to the Sparrow Foundation Board of Directors and new officers have been named for the Foundation.

Sylvia Buie, who spent over 40 years in education, has begun a three-year term on the Foundation Board.

Buie retired as Director of Gifted and Talented Education at the Honors College of Michigan State University. She was instrumental in the design, development and implementation of the gifted and talented program for the East Lansing Public School District and was responsible for oversight of 13 local school district gifted and talented programs.

Buie also served as the first African-American and female president of the East Lansing School Association teacher’s union.

She is active with numerous volunteer and community service organizations, including Haven House, the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing, and Young Women for Change.

In addition to Buie’s appointment, Patty Barnas of Lansing has been named Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors. Barnas, who recently joined First National Bank of Michigan as Market President for Lansing, is in her second term on the board.

Jim Croom of East Lansing has been elected Vice Chair. Croom recently retired as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Jackson National Life Insurance Company. Lisa Corless has been named Secretary/Treasurer. Corless, of Okemos, is President of AF Group in Lansing and is serving her first term on the Board.

For more than 50 years, the Sparrow Foundation has served as the charitable home of Sparrow Health System. Gifts from individuals, organizations, corporations and foundations are invested into programs, facilities, and technology that support the exceptional care provided to every individual, regardless of an ability to pay. Contributions to the Sparrow Foundation are making a difference in the lives of our Patients, their families, and our region each and every day. To discover how you can help, visit