New DHHF director steps up

DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Hospital and Healthcare Foundation (DHHF) has found their new Executive Director following the resignation of former director Penny Banks.

Deb Rollo is well-suited for the job, bringing over 20-years of experience in the not-for-profit industry where she has worn many hats over the years, from Event Planner to Development Coordinator to Program and Volunteer Manager. She has also previously served as an ED for Community Support Services of Niagara and Crime Stoppers of Niagara. 

Deb Rollo

“I have had roles both professionally and personally that have increased my knowledge of the healthcare industry in both the hospital setting and at home,” said Rollo. “I understand the needs of having an important linkage of both to give every resident the opportunity to grow, live, and age well.”

She said it was during her time with the City of Port Colborne as a Health Services Coordinator where she learned the importance of “linking the hospital, staff, family physicians, residents, and medical students alongside community partners to establish common goals that seamlessly bring patients and healthcare together for the betterment of all our citizens.” 

“I understand the needs of people and have a great passion for helping others. Having strong roots in the Dunnville community that have spanned generations, and being a resident here myself for many years, I understand the importance of our hospital and the health benefits of having access to quality healthcare, diagnostic testing, and exceptional care locally. I further recognize that without the financial support of the community much of the lifesaving equipment and technology would not be here today.”

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She touched on the foundation’s legacy, which is nearing the 50-year mark: “There have been so many helping hands over the years that can celebrate this milestone achievement. I know that continuing to promote our well-established events, partnerships, and community relations is crucial to our continued success.”

To accomplish this, Rollo plans to branch out further and share the importance of donor contributions, planned giving for sustainability, and corporate donations: “I’m a firm believer that the entire community benefits when we all work together for common goals. Reaching out in new directions can only improve our position within the community, strengthen partnerships that align with DHHF’s mission, and help enhance economic development.

She said that the impact of inflation in 2023 is not lost on her, but she believes the community will, as always, continue to dig deep to support their hospital.

“DHHF has seen times of both economic boom and times of recession. I know that anyone who has any ties to this community, be it as a resident, a vacationer, even a visitor, understands that having a hospital locally is an amazing asset that most smaller communities simply do not have. People understand how important local healthcare is in today’s changing world, and I truly believe we all see the huge benefits and blessings our hospital brings to each and every one of us. I am confident that when thinking of where to donate hard-earned dollars, DHHF and its benefactor, Haldimand War Memorial Hospital, will continue to remain at the top of the giving list.”

Rollo knows that without those donors, there would be no DHHF, and plans to continue the foundation’s great track record of recognizing and thanking those donors: “Recognizing the wonderful businesses and people who generously support our efforts is a top priority for us, and we will highlight everyone who has given to our foundation, be it through their time helping us stuffing envelopes all the way up to major capital donations. Everyone plays a role in acting as a champion of our foundation, and they all deserve praise.” 

“One of my first-year goals will be to showcase the past 50 years of our foundation and highlight as many people as possible,” she added. “It is essential to acknowledge the past to build the road to the future.”

Rollo made sure to thank Banks for her efforts leading the foundation, noting, “She has provided the foundation with her support over the last three years and just recently hosted a very successful gala. I will look forward to continuing the good work she has done.”

DHHF Board Chair Sandie Heirwegh shared, “We are thrilled to have Deb join our team. Her experience and passion for this community is inspiring. We feel extremely fortunate that Deb will be at the helm of the foundation and look forward to the positive impact she will make.”

  Rollo concluded, “The businesses and people of Dunnville will always be our strongest allies and greatest resource. We must, and will, always remember to listen to our local voices. DHHF has always had success by ensuring that residents, partners, donors, and the community at large are not only heard, but sincerely appreciated.”