DHHF looking for new Executive Director as current director steps down

DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (DHHF) is on the hunt for a new Executive Director, as current director Penny Banks has decided to explore new opportunities.

While Banks may be stepping down from her role, she will continue to serve in a part-time, transitionary position while her replacement is found and brought up to speed.

We spoke to Banks about her time with the organization, and why she has decided to step down.

Over her time with DHHF, Banks has been involved in several noteworthy fundraising campaigns that have seen the community support their local hospital time and again with the needed donations for Haldimand War Memorial Hospital (HWMH) to thrive.

Banks commented on one of her more notable memories from her tenure, “I would have to say the achievement I am most proud of is raising the funds required for Edgewater Gardens so they could purchase a new recreational vehicle. The positive impact on the residents has included an increased sense of independence, a happier more fulfilled life, and a more positive state of mental wellness. The new vehicle has helped the residents to interact with others and remain socially connected with their peers and family members. They have been able to go golfing, fishing, and attend family celebrations and for that I truly am grateful.”

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  She shared some insight on the upcoming transition, including the work she still has on her plate: “I am thrilled to be finishing up on some great projects! First, helping with the Hearts & Heroes Winter Wonderland Gala. This will be our first in-person gala during my time with DHHF and I am excited about seeing this come to fruition.” 

DUNNVILLE—One of the roles of DHHF’s Executive Director is to build relationships with businesses in the community for the common goal of maintaining and improving service at HWMH. Pictured above is a recent example of such a fundraising effort. Domino’s Pizza raised $1,697 for HMWH’s new CT Scanner by giving away free pizzas and accepting donations for a day. Pictured (l-r) are Domino’s owner Raj with employees Farhan and Sunil, giving a free pizza to Dunnville resident Katie Whitehouse. She credited HWMH staff with saving her daughter’s life following a lawn mowing accident, adding, “The hospital saved my daughter’s life so for me stuff like this, I may not be able to donate much but I try. I owe the hospital my daughter. She’s thriving now going into high school next year.” —Haldimand Press photo by Kaitlyn Clark.

  She continued, “Additionally, I am completing some work on our new Legacy Giving program. You can see some of this work on our website at dhhf.ca/ways-to-give/legacy-giving. Lastly, I have agreed to stay on and help transition the new Executive Director into the role.”

For her replacement, she noted the importance of never underestimating the community’s commitment to supporting their hospital, “The unwavering support we receive ensures that we all have a hospital close to home!”

  DHHF Board Chair Sandie Heirwegh shared, “The ideal candidate will have a passion for fundraising to ensure quality healthcare in our community continues. The government does not provide funding for equipment. The money for that is raised locally. The new ED has big shoes to fill as Penny has done an excellent job for the past three years. It’s critical that the new ED be a highly motivated person that will spearhead our organization in achieving its mission. The incumbent will play a key role in strategizing, planning, and executing fundraising initiatives. The successful individual will lead a dedicated team, engage with stakeholders, and uphold the values of DHHF to drive positive change.”

  Heirwegh said the new director will be stepping into the role in a time where the community is facing many challenges, adding, “Fundraising is certainly not easy in this economic climate, so we must continuously communicate the needs of the hospital and the positive impact that donations make. Learning about the operations of DHHF from the ground up will be key. The Board of Directors and present staff will be there to support the new ED every step of the way. We are all excited about what the future holds for healthcare in our community and look forward to welcoming our new leader.”

  She reiterated DHHF’s true secret to their success: the residents of Dunnville and surrounding area. 

“Whether it’s making Dunnville the Smile Cookie Capital of Canada for six years in a row or volunteering at our events, they always come through for us,” said Heirwegh. “We are in the final stages of preparation for our Hearts and Heroes Gala set for November 4…. The evening will be filled with excitement, great food, excellent company, and lots of fun. The best part – it’s all for a very good cause. Our hospital.” 

The winter fun and fundraising won’t end there, with Heiwegh adding, “Our annual Trees of Hope campaign – which is our largest fundraiser – will launch in November. I would like to extend my personal gratitude to supporters of DHHF. We can’t do this without you.”

Banks concluded with a message to the people who have supported DHHF through her tenure, “To the donors and community members, always remember that no matter how small the gift, they all add up to life saving care! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my time at DHHF incredibly fulfilling. I will cherish this community and the team at DHHF!”