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Board Member Spotlight: David and Johnette “Johny” DeRose

Board Member Spotlight: David and Johnette “Johny” DeRose

It was easy for David DeRose to say yes to serving on the Latrobe Area Hospital Charitable Foundation (LAHCF) board. The invitation in the fall of 2008 came directly from Dr. John R. “Bob” Mazero, the person who had devoted his life and career to making medical care in the Latrobe community the best that it could be in his varied roles as internal medicine specialist and hospital medical director, and in retirement, founding president of LAHCF.

David felt honored to join a board of distinguished civic and medical giants that he had observed applying their collective talents and generosity to not only advance the hospital itself but to so many endeavors that benefited the overall health and well-being of the greater Latrobe community.

He also saw board membership as a way to give back, having personally benefited from the hospital’s clinicians and services. “Had it not been for the superb emergency care and subsequent hospital stay after a heart attack, I would not be here to serve,” explained this appreciative patient. “The doctors, nurses, aides and the other service staff have been consistently competent, courteous and compassionate in the care rendered to my family members as services were required. My wife, Johny, and I have always been very grateful for this and we both want to continue to volunteer to assist this vital community asset.”

It was because of his heart attack that DeRose became a champion of the Golden Hour, a health system community education program that promoted early recognition and treatment of the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke for the optimal outcome. And he is not reticent to remind others with whom he serves on the boards of Adams Memorial Library and Redstone Highlands or over his 30-year membership with the Latrobe Youth Commission.

Even though their volunteer involvement is very different, the ultimate goal for both David and Johny is the same. They are interested in preserving and expanding the care available through Latrobe Hospital.

A board member of Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society (LAHAS), Johny’s current focus is the Lights of Love holiday project. She also helps with the springtime Children’s Health Fair, and for many years brought third-graders from the Valley School of Ligonier where she served as an administrator before retirement. She continues to volunteer at the school helping to tend the children’s garden, as well as maintain the Latrobe Mini-Gardens as part of her role as a master gardener with Penn State Extension. A board member of Laurel Faith in Action, she also sees how widespread volunteer support can improve the quality of life and health in the community.

It’s a lesson Johny has had reinforced over her lifetime. “Many years ago, my father was on the Board at Latrobe Hospital. I am proud that I still maintain a connection some 50 years later. My mother, Bea Zappone, always supported the hospital during her lifetime and wanted that support to continue after her passing. She established a fund at the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County and part of its purpose is to continue to support Latrobe Hospital and its programs.