inspiring_care



Eric Dean, FAHP
 

Chief Executive Officer
705-728-9090 x 41518 
DeanE@rvh.on.ca 

It’s hard to believe that I’ve had the privilege of raising funds for health care for nearly 30 years. 

While I’ve enjoyed seeing the impact of community support in hospitals in Toronto, Lindsay and Ottawa, I’ve called Barrie home now for over seven years and I’m so impressed with the generosity of our region. 

When I arrived in Barrie, the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre was still under construction and today we’ve seen its impact in the thousands of patients treated every year and more than 12 million kilometres of travel saved each year by having this care closer to home.  It’s so rewarding to share the impact of community support with donors who helped make this project, and others, happen.

I’m inspired by the team, both at RVH and the foundation. We are surrounded by board members, teammates and volunteers who strive each day to make life better for patients and their families.  We see extraordinary compassion and commitment in this common cause.

My wife Loraine and I are proud to be part of this community.  While our daughters are grown and thriving in their own cities, we’ve been enjoying getting to know the biking and hiking trails throughout the region and getting involved in the community.  I’m especially passionate about my involvement with the Rotary Club of Barrie and the opportunities Rotary provides to work with like-minded individuals in Rotary, Rotaract and Interact – in Barrie and throughout the area.

Lastly, I’m really honoured to work every day with people who want to create a better future for our community.  It’s a great privilege to help donors find a way to give back, to make a difference and to put their passion and values into action. 



Robyn Blanchet

Campaign Coordinator
(705) 728-9090 ext. 41511
BlanchetR@rvh.on.ca 

Giving back to the community has been a long time passion for me and my family. I am inspired by my family’s philanthropic ways and transitioning into a role in the charitable sector with the RVH Foundation has been both humbling and rewarding.

The position of Campaign Coordinator is my second role within the RVH Foundation team, I enjoy having the opportunity to coordinate tours and meetings that demonstrate the impact our generous community has made for patient care. 

One of the best parts of my role is being able to work closely with our committee volunteers, it is inspiring to learn and hear about their “RVH story” and why RVH is a charity of choice.

I believe in helping others and am inspired by having the opportunity to learn from the brilliant members of team RVH, volunteers, patients and donors. I feel it is a privilege to be a part of the team that raise funds to support patient care at RVH.

My proudest accomplishment are my sons who make me smile every day, both were born at RVH and we are grateful for the exceptional care we received.

I am lucky to be married to my best friend, we live just outside of Barrie in the beautiful township of Springwater. Growing up I was a competitive figure skater and now continue to live an active lifestyle.  When not at an arena with our sons for hockey, as a family we enjoy cheering on the Toronto Maple Leafs or snuggling up to watch a movie with popcorn. In warmer weather golfing, hiking or boating are where you would probably find us.



Jennifer Harris 

Stewardship Specialist 
705-728-9090 x41513
HarrisJen@rvh.on.ca 

Healthcare has long been a passion of mine. After working as a medical administrator in Cardiology for 20 years, I decided it was time for a change, but I wanted to remain in this field. When I applied to the RVH Foundation it was on a whim – a whim that’s turned into a fantastic opportunity.

I love getting to know the patients and donors at RVH. It’s humbling to hear their stories of care, and how they’ve been touched by the compassionate staff at RVH.

I was born and raised in Barrie and have watched this community grow over the years.  The hospital has always been there for my family and it has been a privilege to see the positive changes as it has also grown, including the recent opening of the Child & Youth Mental Health inpatient unit and the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Heart Program. 

My family, my church, and music are my strongest passions. I’m fortunate to say my two sons are my proudest accomplishment and I have been their biggest fan at all of their sports games. With a background in piano and choral singing, I also work part-time as the music director at my church. 

Patients and donors who accomplish great goals while overcoming huge obstacles motivate me. I also draw inspiration from those who prove one person can make a significant difference – like Zach Makes Tracks.



Lindsay Iannello
 

Donor Relations Specialist
705-728-9090 x 41516 
IannelloL@rvh.on.ca

I have long been drawn to helping others in my community so when the opportunity presented itself to work with the incredible team at the RVH Foundation, I knew it would be something special. 

My initial involvement with the Foundation began when I started supporting the Hearts and Minds Campaign as someone desperately in need of resources for a family member requiring youth mental health services. At the time, these kinds of supports were not sufficiently available. I watched the Foundation team work tirelessly to bring awareness to the critical need for these services in our region and I will forever be grateful for the efforts that were put forth during this campaign.

RVH has really given me so much - not only has it given me hope as I watched the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Child and Youth Mental Health Program finally come to fruition, but it has also given me my two beautiful daughters. It has provided my father with life saving support after several cardiac emergencies and  ensured my mother received the care she needed after a traumatic allergic reaction. I cannot count the number of times my family and I have relied on RVH, and now as a proud member of this team, I truly feel that it is my turn to give back.

I love being able to use various modes of communication to support donors in their community events benefiting patient care at RVH. I look forward to continuing to grow in my role and to support the incredible work that is done every single day at RVH. 



Allison Louth 

Philanthropy Officer 
705-728-9090 x41612
Loutha@rvh.on.ca 

I’ve always felt a connection to philanthropy and the non-profit sector. Over the years, I’ve volunteered with many non-profit organizations and really enjoy the sense of community and gratitude that radiates from the sector. I was born and raised in Orillia and learned from an early age how local philanthropy can have a significant impact on a community. It creates special opportunities for people from various backgrounds to come together and build brighter futures for those in need. Philanthropy is my passion and I am thrilled that I’ve had the opportunity to help raise funds for the social services, education and healthcare sectors over the past 5 years.

As the Philanthropy Officer at RVH Foundation, I have the privilege of working directly with our generous donors who wish to support equipment and the exceptional care that is provided at RVH. I get to build relationships with our dedicated supporters each day and connect them with projects that are meaningful to them. I am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside donors who want to make a difference for our patients, and ultimately build on our community’s proud history of giving.

My husband and I recently moved from Toronto back to our hometown of Orillia. Outside of work, you will often find us spending quality time with friends and family. We have a niece and nephew who have brought so much joy into our lives and we enjoy every moment that we get to spend with them. We also enjoy spending time on the golf course, exploring new spots in our community and relaxing at home. 

 Philanthropy has the power to bring people together and make a difference for our community. I am continuously inspired by our donors’ generosity and their aspirations to bring advanced regional care closer to home. With the help of our community, RVH will continue to provide exceptional care for individuals across Simcoe Muskoka.


Greg MacMillan

Foundation Accountant 
705-728-9090 x42155
 MacMillianG@rvh.on.ca



Amber McGarvey-Moreland  
Gift Officer
705-728-9090 ext. 41517
McGarveyA@rvh.on.ca

Born and raised in Orillia, I always had a sense of small community needs - and was drawn to help others at a young age. In my teens I began to volunteer for several local organizations, and that led to working & volunteering within the vulnerable not-for-profit sector; caring for seniors, hospice palliative care, and managing youth enterprise projects. I returned to school and achieved an honours diploma in Medical Office Administration, and within days of completing my studies, I found my way on to the RVH Foundation team. I’m currently working towards obtaining my Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) credentials.

The Gift Officer position is my third role within the RVH Foundation team, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to develop closer relationships with our generous donors. I assist with our Annual and Monthly Giving Programs, and those wishing to learn more about Legacy and Bequests gifts. My favourite part of my role is hearing the motivation and stories as to why donors from across the region are supporting patient care at RVH - it’s truly humbling.  

The weekends are a time to spend with family and friends. My husband and I keep busy - and are often bringing our two adventurous toddlers to farmers markets, galleries & museums, attending music and literacy festivals, and antiquing. Last spring we began bottling syrup from maple trees on our family farm. In the same creative vein, I have a small, side business, Koi Jewellry, which allows a creative, therapeutic release. We love to travel and enjoy day-tripping with our girls.

The generosity of the region is truly inspiring. When I joined the Foundation team, the IBelieve Campaign and major RVH expansion had just completed. I was then part of the Hearts and Minds Campaign, and hearing & sharing the stories that accompanied so many incredible gifts was exciting!  People truly want to support exceptional patient care – and I appreciate being part of such a dedicated and passionate team here at RVH.

I want to share my passion for volunteerism and philanthropy with my children, and inspire others to see what they can do to help those in their community. I’m the proud co-director of Ripple of Kindness Orillia, and I hope that will “pay it forward”.


Brianna McKenna

Donor Relations Specialist
705-728-9090 x 41516
McKennaB@rvh.on.ca 

In life I truly believe that everything happens for a reason; although, at times it is difficult to understand why. Personally, this was especially true while grieving the loss of my niece, Bridget. While grieving this loss, my family organized a run in memory of Bridget to raise awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss with funds raised going to support RVH’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Obstetrics Bereavement Program. This is where my experience began with the RVH Foundation. As part of the Partners in Caring program my family received wonderful support from the Foundation team. It was during this experience that I immediately fell in love with the idea of working for such an incredible organization and team of individuals.

Bridget has guided me to a new path and I am extremely humbled to work alongside our donors and supporters of RVH. I am excited to share the stories of our donors through the various communication pathways available to our family of supporters at RVH including our direct mail program and social media outlets and supporting them in their meaningful community led special events benefitting patient care.

As the middle child of five kids my family means everything to me. Outside of the office you will find me with my siblings and their growing families spending as much quality “auntie” time as I can with them. When not with my nieces and nephews my husband and I can be found at the gym, watching our favourite TV shows or thinking about our next home renovation project.

Inspiring stories motivate me; stories of people who are going through life changing events but continue to bring positivity and goodwill to the community – Terry Fox, Rick Hansen, and even our little Bridget. These are the stories I am excited to be part of here at the RVH Foundation.


Casey McKenzie

Development Assistant
705-728-9090 x41520
McKenzieC@rvh.on.ca

I am new to healthcare philanthropy but I am not new to healthcare. I have been working in various avenues of healthcare for over 8 years, from frontline in the emergency department to administration on multiple inpatient units. I learn so much and am continuously motivated by the patients and donors I meet.

I was born here at RVH and grew up in Tiny Township; Barrie and the community have always been a part of my life. My grandmother and great-grandmother were both nursing students here at RVH, my twin nephews received exceptional care here in the RVH NICU and my grandfather was treated in the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. I have seen firsthand the great work and passion that comes out of caring healthcare professionals and working at the RVH Foundation is my way to give back.

I currently reside North of Barrie with my two small dogs and large, close-knit blended family. Outside of work I enjoy exploring the outdoors and staying active, I love to go for hikes, and spend time with my family and friends, and in the summer you will find me enjoying the sun at our family cottage just North of Parry Sound.

I am extremely impressed by the generosity I’ve seen just in my early days here at RVH. You can find me in our RVH Foundation Office at the Main Entrance across from the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, please stop in and say hello and let me tell you about all the wonderful and inspiring things happening here at RVH.

Ryan McLeod

Ryan McLeod

Fundraising Events Assistant
(705) 728-9090 ext. 41512
McLeodR@rvh.on.ca 

It is an honour to have the chance to work with so many of our incredible community event organizers and getting the opportunity to work with them to plan and promote their fundraising events. It is a privilege to help tell their story and help support patient care at RVH. 

I came to the RVH Foundation after almost a decade working for Bell Media (previously Larche Communications Inc.) where I chaired the Radio for Cardiology Radiothon for several years. Seeing the impact a community can have when they join together to support a cause firsthand was an incredible experience.

I am originally from Montreal, but found my way to Simcoe County in 2010 and have come to love everything about living in this area. I'm an avid hockey fan and as a 'Montrealer' cheer for the Habs - but don't hold that against me. My wife and I love to spend our time by the water in the summer, skiing in the winter, and squeezing in a round of golf or two when we can. We recently moved to Springwater Township, where we try to spend as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors.

 Nelson Mandella once said, "It always seems impossible until it is done."  I am continuously inspired by what a community can do when it comes together - the way a group of people can rally around a common cause and make the seemingly impossible - a reality.



Kelly Pottage 

Community Giving Manager 
705-728-9090 x41510
PottageK@rvh.on.ca 

It is a privilege to be a team member in the RVH Foundation as it allows me to help and collaborate with community members who organize events and initiatives to raise funds for exceptional patient care. I am passionate about this cause, particularly because two members of my immediate family have received life-saving services at RVH. Both incidents were sudden and unexpected and if weren’t for the incredible quality of care provided by the health care providers and the tools and technologies they have access to, either situation could have turned out very differently. Needless to say, my family is and will continue to be, very grateful to RVH. This is why fundraising to ensure the organization can continue to deliver the highest possible quality care for its patients, is important to me and very close to my heart.

My background in journalism, corporate communications and working in the fundraising department of Georgian College for over a decade, has created a pathway of experience in writing and story-telling, building relationships for the betterment of important work and causes, and the skills to stitch together and project manage the many little pieces and details that create meaningful events and projects. No two days are ever the same, and that creates exciting and rewarding work.

As one of the newer team members in the Foundation, I look forward to getting to know, thank, and work with the dedicated supporters and donors who have stood behind RVH, in many cases year after year, to help it thrive and evolve for the benefit of the community and patients.

When I’m not at work, I can be found driving my two teenagers to their activities, reading the news snuggled up with our two dogs, and once in a while, I like to hit the greens to golf with friends or my husband which is my favourite activity (although I’m a work in progress on the course). I also enjoy really good quality coffee, and have found that Café Royal in the main lobby of RVH offers a great cup of brew!

 

Kim Sexsmith
Senior Administrative Assistant
705-728-9090 x41514
SexsmithK@rvh.on.ca

I was born in Birmingham, England, but my family immigrated to Canada when I was seven years old. I grew up in Montreal and lived in different areas of the GTA before having a family and moving to Bradford, where we lived for 25 years. Prior to RVH I worked in the technology and education fields, but never felt what I was doing was making a real difference. Three years ago we moved from Bradford to Springwater, and I was fortunate enough to join the RVH Foundation in May of 2017 as the Senior Administrative Assistant, supporting the Foundation CEO and the Director of Philanthropy. Although my position is similar to what I’ve done in previous jobs, I now see on a daily basis that no matter what our roles are, we all contribute to the ongoing commitment of providing quality healthcare closer to home to improve the lives of patients and their families. Working at RVH just feels right - we all make a difference. Staff and volunteers have the same goals and intentions – there’s a reason why we’re called TEAM RVH. I am also constantly amazed by the many community members who are passionate about supporting the healthcare centre as volunteers, donors or advocates.

On a personal note, I love going to the movies, am a long-time Toronto Blue Jays fan, and a music lover – everything from Celine Dion to Iron Maiden. I enjoy walking, and last summer I started running. My husband and I love to vacation down south, preferably in Mexico, go to the gym together, and spoil our dogs Hoover, and Poppy - a rescue from Romania. I have two adult children and we are very close, so we get together as often as we can. I try to visit England whenever possible, especially to spend time with my brother and his family. My brother was given up for adoption as a baby, but after many years of searching, I was lucky enough to find him in 2000, and even luckier that our families have grown to love each other.

I’ve always been inspired by, and in awe of, individuals who devote their lives to helping others. I am passionate about paying it forward, have volunteered and financially supported various organizations my whole life, and brought up my children to do the same. I consider myself compassionate, and I truly enjoy helping others. I love hearing people’s stories, and we hear many amazing stories at RVH.


 

Craig Stevens
Business Gift Officer
705-728-9090 x41519
StevensCr@rvh.on.ca

Having the opportunity to contribute to building a community has, for as long as I can remember, been my personal aspiration. Being be part of a team, or many teams, of colleagues, volunteers, friends and family coming together to change our community for the better is truly motivating and inspiring. Even better, if this community happens to be the one you grew up in – which it is for me – it’s the icing on the cake!

Working in the charitable sector has a deep and lasting effect on the community and its people, and that’s what I love most about it. Having watched RVH grow and expand to match our community growth to the point of becoming a regional health centre inspired me to want to be part of the great RVH team and to help to make a difference. My wife Jody and I had a truly positive experience at RVH having all three of our boys born here.

Prior to joining the RVH Foundation Team, I was the Managing Director at the Downtown Barrie Business Association (BIA) for 14 years. I helped to lead, support and contribute to building our local entrepreneurial (main street) business sector representing over 400 business and property owners; and building the capacity to help realize our amazing potential and opportunities that our Downtown area and beautiful waterfront have. I am most proud of the Meridian Place & Memorial Square public private partnership transformation that took a piece of land that has over 200 years of historical relevance, preserved that history while at the same time enhancing and modernizing the land as a public gathering venue that can host events with thousands of people and provide an economic return for the local businesses for another 200 years!  Prior to the BIA, I worked as a management consultant in both Canada and the USA and I was involved with managing and owning two businesses in the Downtown; The Running Room retail store and with my wife - Jody, Swanky Kids – a kids clothing store. And when I go ‘way back’, I have an Economics Degree from the University of Western Ontario.

My role as the Business Gift Officer at the RVH Foundation allows me to connect our amazing RVH Health Centre to our expansive business community. Having the opportunity to showcase our impressive health centre with all the new technologies and treatments, I am sure, will inspire our local business leaders to support RVHs future growth, enhancements and improvements as our community continues to grow.

Outside of work I enjoy almost any outdoor activity – from working in the yard to riding with the local cycling club to waterskiing and swimming at our cottage or enjoying our area’s downhill ski hills and cross country ski trails. When I happen to be inside, I love to cook and entertain with friends and family. And what seems to take most of our ‘spare time’ with my wife Jody, is juggling the activities and friendly chaos that comes with having three fantastic boys!

In this busy & hectic life that we all live in today, I take inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci’s quote; Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Rebbeca Truax, MBA, CFRE
Director of Philanthropy 
705-728-9090 x 41525 
TruaxR@rvh.on.ca

Working with donors is the best part of my role as director of philanthropy. Every day I cross paths with someone new and I’m reminded that philanthropy knows no boundaries. Our donors come from different backgrounds, different experiences – they range from 10 years old to 90 years old. I learn from each of them. 

I was inspired to join this profession because I saw the incredible difference philanthropy makes to communities. As someone with roots in rural Ontario, I understand the importance of building a strong community and people helping each other. People can build anything they want to when they’re empowered.

RVH supporters are amazing people who energize and inspire me. Healthcare touches everyone, at some point in their lives, and in response people have made RVH a charity of choice.

Outside of the foundation, I lead an active life. I’m a passionate road cycler and enjoy a variety of other sports including yoga, circuit training, hiking, and golf. My greatest achievement is my son – he’s curious, positive and kind. And I love animals – my dog Jasper and cat Kenya are my furry companions.

Our patients are my biggest motivator, knowing everyday they’re braving something that’s often unexpected and with such grace. It is inspiring to know that our patients are supported by their community.

Donors are the centre of everything we do at the RVH Foundation. I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to work with them and honour their generosity.