Lori Stephenson

When Lori Stephenson moved back to Burlington in 2015, she immediately looked for an opportunity to volunteer.

“It’s important to me to be an active member and contributor to the community in which I live,” she said. “I saw the hospital as the heart of the community and serving on the Foundation Board was a great way to get reconnected to Burlington.”

As Lori completes her six-year term on the Foundation Board of Directors, she looks back proudly on the launch of the Join the J campaign.

“I joined right around the time we launched Join the J. I’m particularly proud to see the branding take root and to be a part of helping to grow that recognition,” she said. “It’s important for the community to connect the work of the Foundation with our Hospital. Join the J has helped strengthen that awareness.”

For Lori, volunteering with the Foundation has helped grow her appreciation for healthcare and healthcare workers.

“We take a lot of our healthcare system for granted because we’ve been told healthcare is provided to us, we don’t fully appreciate how much isn’t a given,” she said. “My time on the board really helped me understand that while our taxes go to provide a level of healthcare support, it isn’t enough. So much of what someone sees and experiences within the Hospital is a result of direct support to the Foundation.”

Lori is proud to live in Burlington and encourages everyone to consider their role in community building.

“We are fortunate enough to live in one of the top-rated cities in the country, and that doesn’t just happen,” she said. “We all have a responsibility to ensure future generations experience the same or better … and that doesn’t come from watching others.”

We recognize Lori and thank all the Foundation volunteers during National Volunteer Week.

Anna Iacobelli

Joseph Brant Hospital has been a part of Anna Iacobelli’s entire life – she was born at the hospital and this year is completing a six-year term on the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation Board of Directors.

In between, she volunteered in the ICU, and saw her family receive care for decades.

“My parents were brought back to health many times there, my nieces and great-niece were born there, my grandmother and my father spent their last days receiving excellent care, she said. “The hospital has always been there for me and my family.”

During her time on the JBHF Board, Anna spent two years as Vice-Chair, and two years as Chair, driven by her belief in the power of community and our collective ability to lift each other up in meaningful ways.

During her time on the Board, Anna reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on hospitals, and the community.

“Covid hit us hard – we had to pivot on how we would connect with our donors, stakeholders, volunteers, and our new board members,” she said. “It was so great to see how the board and the community came together and I was so proud of the strength of our hospital and our front line health care team.”

For Anna, volunteering brings diverse people and communities together and encourages others to give back to JBH.

“It’s our community and it’s our hospital – we need to give back because when we need the hospital it will be there for us – so we need to be there for the hospital.”

We recognize Anna for her contributions and wish all our volunteers a very happy National Volunteer Week.

Oran Johnson

Burlington has given Oran Johnson so much: a career, friends, amazing neighbours, financial stability and a true source of connection and pride. So for him, volunteering as a way to give something back was a must.

Oran has served as a member of the JBH Foundation board for the past six years, and during that time has provided incredible leadership and expertise. He also leveraged his passion for golf as Co-Chair for the Annual JBH Open at the Burlington Golf and Country Club.

“I cannot be happier that I chose Joseph Brant Hospital and the Foundation Board as my avenue to try to give back and that they allowed me to be a part of it,” he said. “What an incredible community hospital Joseph Brant has become. It is the pride of our community and the envy of others and I will miss being a part of this incredible continuing transformation.”

Oran is also incredibly appreciative of the generous and ongoing support of all the Burlingtonians who have donated their time and money to make Joseph Brant what it is today. And he has a special message for the staff on the frontlines everyday.

“To the doctors and nurses, service staff and volunteers that pour their heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into providing exceptional care before and now during this pandemic at Joseph Brant Hospital, please know we all owe you a debt we may never be able to properly convey or repay.”

Susan Busby

Susan Busby has always had a passion for community, and specifically health and education.

A retired teacher and principal, Susan has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to our community through decades of volunteering her time, talent and treasure. Susan has served multiple terms as a member of both the Joseph Brant Hospital and JBH Foundation’s Board and played a key role in the Redevelopment and Expansion project.

“Participating as a volunteer has strengthened my understanding of what it means to be part of a community, working with so many committed individuals who come together to enrich the quality of healthcare at JBH, striving to make our world a better place,“ said Susan.

As Susan’s term on the JBH Foundation board comes to an end, we recognize her commitment of time, talent and treasure and thank her for her leadership and passion for engaging others to give.

Jamielynne Smith

Jamielynne is a mother of three and a Burlington resident for 30 years.  For over 10 years, Jamielynne has volunteered her time with Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and has been a part of various event committees for the Foundation.

Jamielynne’s incredible set design skills and ideas have brought a lot of beauty and story to the Foundation’s events, including the Crystal Ball.  For the past 3 years, Jamielynne has created and decorated the themed Holiday Tree, on display in the hospital’s main lobby. Last year’s Holiday tree was dedicated to the frontline heroes of Joseph Brant Hospital.

“I’ve have never volunteered with more passionate, dedicated and fantastic people, who are collectively so dedicated and enthusiastic!” says Jamielynne. “I take a lot of pride in being able to help the Hospital through the Foundation and I hope to continue to volunteer with them for a long time”.

Kimberly Westenberg

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is lucky to have a large group of dedicated volunteers. From Board and committee members to our IMPACT team, their support goes a long way towards achieving our goals.

For Kimberly Westenberg, volunteering with the Foundation goes back a long way.

“JBH is where I was born and I choose to give back by volunteering my time to the Foundation as JBH has been part of my life’s ups and downs,” she says. “I love volunteering my time in support of the events that raise money to help build a better hospital for the community I grew up in.”

It doesn’t hurt that her mom works for the Foundation.

“I would hear her talking about events and I wanted to attend and help out,” says Kimberly.

Over the past five years, Kimberly has volunteered at a number of Foundation events: Bright Lights Hot Nights, Battle of the Brains Trivia Night, Stars Under the Stars Movie Night, the Amazing Bed Race and the High Falutin’ Hoedown.

Volunteering could mean anything including set-up, tear-down, registration, fundraising, activities, and bartending, or as Kimberly puts it “basically anything I am asked to help with.”

In her volunteering with the Foundation, she has learned about the great amount of hard work and planning that goes into raising money to support our community Hospital.

“The amount of planning and passion that goes to plan a great event to allow the supporters of the hospital have a great time is amazing,” she said.

When asked what she likes most about volunteering for the Hospital Foundation, the answer is easy for Kimberly.

“I love that when I am helping out at an event that it’s always organized and you feel like a part of the team! The Foundation makes sure you are confident and happy with your assignment at the event, and it’s great watching the excitement and fun happen right before your eyes!”

According to Kimberly, the Foundation is a great place to volunteer, and get involved in your community.

“You get to be a part of a community that wants to provide better healthcare for the community. And sometimes you get pizza, and who doesn’t love pizza!”

Bob Basadur

As a Burlington resident, Bob had a “strong sense of wanting to get more involved in the Community from a volunteer standpoint” and joined the Joseph Brant Hospital Board of Directors.

Bob feels that the role of the Foundation Board has several facets. “We are representatives of the Hospital in the Burlington Community to help create awareness and build enthusiasm so people are inspired to give whatever they can financially. We are custodians to a great deal of money and owe it to our donors to be transparent with our governance practices and stewardship of these funds. We are a sounding board for new ideas, strategies and tactics that our President can use to make the best decisions.”

Bob believes that the Redevelopment and Expansion of our Hospital will be the ‘icing on the cake’ and help make Burlington one of the best communities for quality of life in Canada. “It is already a special place and the new Hospital will not only create new jobs and attract some of the best physicians, but it will also be a place Burlington residents will be proud to call their own.”

When asked what part of the Redevelopment and Expansion Project Bob is most excited for he mentions the new emergency facilities. “Our new state-of-the-art Emergency Department, the first point of contact with the Hospital, will go a long way towards changing the public’s perception of the Hospital.”

Bob is a passionate advocate of Joseph Brant Hospital and excited about what is in store for the future of health care for Burlington. “We really need a new Hospital, so let’s work together to make it happen,” said Mr. Basadur.

Rachel Alvarenga

Rachel Alvarenga sees healthcare as essential for quality of life, and volunteering with the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation as an honour. Since November 2016, Rachel has been supporting the events team at JBHF and has worked closely on events including Trivia Night and Crystal Ball.

“I volunteer because it is a great opportunity to learn and be part of my community,” she said. “I feel like I am benefiting as much or more than I’m helping, and I would recommend it to anyone that is interested in personal growth or just giving back to the community.

For Rachel, supporting the JBH Foundation is an investment in her community.

“The JBH Foundation raises funds to support the critical needs of many areas in including mental health, palliative, maternal and child,” said Rachel. “It is a significant force in making a difference and bettering the lives of many people on a daily basis and to be able to be a modest part in this far-reaching process is very rewarding and I am really proud of it.”

Aileen, Rick and Hugo Barreto

For the Barreto family, having quality healthcare close to home has led to their volunteering with the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.

“Unfortunately we have been faced with medical conditions that require us to be monitored by various healthcare specialists.  We have been very fortunate that a lot of these healthcare providers are located in Burlington, but not all, said Aileen. “We live in an amazing city that deserves a great hospital with all of these resources so we don’t need to travel to other cities.”

Aileen and her husband Rick, along with their children Hugo and Elle have been giving back to the JBHF since 2015, beginning with the CAAAR! 3 on 3 Road Hockey Tournament. And the key is the opportunity for the entire family to get involved.

“It is important that our children learn that there are different ways to help your community and that giving your time doesn’t cost you anything except heart,” Aileen said. “We love that by volunteering with the JBHF, our children feel a part of the new hospital.”

Alexandra Todd

Joseph Brant Hospital has been a part of one-third of Alexandra Todd’s life, so giving back to the hospital is something she looks back on as inevitable. Her father is a pharmacist, and her mother is a physician who received her training and started her career at JBH.

“For a period of time, JBH was at the centre of many events for my family,” she said. “As my mother was starting started her career, my grandfather was in palliative care at the hospital, so even when we would go for a walk by the lake, the hospital was always close in sight and thought.”

For Alexandra, hearing stories from her parents about how rewarding and special certain experiences with the hospital have been, and how kind the staff is going above and beyond continued as she’d spend time at the hospital with her mother.

“I was able to wait for my mother finishing checking a newborn on the weekends in the pediatric ward, and it was very uplifting to see so many smiling faces of nurses and parents with their newborns,” said Alexandra. “Despite my experiences with my grandfather, it showed me that the hospital was not always a place for sad news or illness.”

As a student at Fern Hill School, with an incredible history of fundraising, Alexandra was inspired to approach the Principal to suggest redirecting some of the funds raised to their own community hospital, rather than the charities the school had supported in the past.

“It was thanks to Mrs. Derrick who opened her door, ears and heart to a 12-year old wondering and questioning “why not, could we, what do you think” that made it happen,” she said.

As a result of her initiative, Fern Hill School made a five-year pledge in December 2014 to raise $100,000 in support of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.
Alexandra continues to volunteer with the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation and has recently been an active member of the planning committee for the Join the J community kick off in Spencer Smith Park last October, and as a participant on the Youth in Philanthropy discussion panel last winter.

For Alexandra, supporting healthcare goes back to the care her grandfather received over six years ago.

“I always remember how kind the staff are, going above and beyond for my grandfather,” she said. “Not only the excellent doctor but also the angel nurse who got him Yorkshire pudding to stimulate his English appetite. She was not just the nurse giving his medication, but also the one attending to his pain, suffering, and got to know him as a person.”