Compassion & Support.
For All Ages & All Stages
About Us
You Can Create Impact.
By donating to Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care you allow us
to continue to provide quality hospice palliative care to those people
facing life-threatening illnesses, their families & caregivers.
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Visiting Volunteers are our greatest strength.
Create impact in the lives of those facing end of life.
Volunteer Now!

About Us

Hospice palliative care is an approach  that strives to improve the quality of life of people, their families and caregivers facing the problems associated with life-threatening illnesses.

Since 1986 we have been providing care, support, education, equipment and companionship, FREE of charge to the residents of NOTL and their families

All Ages,
All Stages

We have grown from a small office in the nurses’ residence, to the old hospital site location while we await our new office space expected to be ready in spring of 2022.  

Our small but mighty team of approximately 16 volunteers has expanded, growing to a team of over 45 dedicated, educated, and compassionate individuals. We are like-minded and driven by a passionate desire to support individuals facing one of the most crucial times in their lives. 

We believe that the ending of a life deserves the same amount of attention, care, and nurturing that the beginning of life does.

Although we may enter life with no handbooks, we know that we all hold a great responsibility to love, support and care for one another. To be fully effective at the end of life stage, we must strive to be a known presence in active life. 

The sooner we can assist those in need, the better.

Services About Bonnie Bagnulo

About Our

Executive Director

Bonnie Bagnulo

Our Executive Director, Bonnie Bagnulo, comes to Palliative Care with over 20 years of practical business experience and 25 years working in social services. 

She brings with her a background which includes Funeral Home services, Child Psychology, Thanatology , working with children in Ministry, Fundamentals in Bereavement Counselling Skills and Palliative Care. 

Bonnie is an excellent facilitator, possessing incredible attention to detail, and most importantly, has an unequivocally compassionate nature. 

Personally, she has suffered tremendous loss, ultimately guiding her to her true calling so many years ago.  She is a self-motivated individual, driven by her passion for nurturing and educating others on a full scope of practice in the Palliative Care approach.

Her goal is to bring dignity and quality to end of life healthcare.


Our Volunteers

Services Volunteer

Our Community Support Volunteers are the backbone of our organization, and through them, we change lives.

As a result of their remarkable dedication and kindness, the Community Support Volunteers can come alongside our clients to assist them and their families in so many ways.

Our Volunteers have proven you do not need to be a healthcare
provider to bring great comfort and support to others.

Our volunteers exhibit an incredible power to listen and to show compassion. We would even say that it is a CSV’s most valuable skill and responsibility. 

Our team cares for people of all ages, stages and backgrounds, with all types of illness and are available throughout the entire course of an illness. 

With specialized training provided, they are also available for companioning caregivers journeying through bereavement after death.

Volunteers Are Our Greatest Strength

Are you keen on listening to others, are supportive and focused on the clients’ and caregivers’ needs?
We have multiple volunteer opportunities that you'd be perfect for!

There are many ways to become involved. Become a Volunteer today!


Our Board of Directors

Executive Team

Dr. Jen Frendo - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 3

Dr. Jennifer Frendo

Board Chair

General Practitioner/Physician Consultant, Niagara North Family Health Team – NOTL Site

Jen is a family physician and assistant at surgery in Niagara.

She was raised in NOTL and returned to work here after completing medical school and her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Ottawa.

Prior to training in Ottawa, she also completed her BSc in Environmental Science at Brock University.

Cindy Grant

Cindy Grant​


Cindy has lived in Niagara-on-the-Lake for over 11 years, after moving from Toronto where she worked in the healthcare industry for many years.

She has been a volunteer with several organizations and groups within the community since moving here including Treasurer and Board Member of NOTL Community Palliative Care Service, the Board of the Niagara North Family Health Team and Newark Neighbours and as Chair of the Town Community Wellness Committee. 

Volunteering is important to Cindy as a tangible and vital component of any community and its social connectedness and as a way of “giving back”. 

Patti Bauer Board - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 4

Patti Bauer


Patti has always worked with the public in customer service. Presently, working at the Town Hall in Niagara-on-the-Lake as a Customer Experience Representative. Just prior to that, she was a Customer Service Representative at CIBC for 9 years (NOTL over 3yrs).

Unfortunately, she has had her share of losses in life.  Patti has turned the pain of her deepest loss, (the loss of her beloved daughter Miranda to Childhood cancer at the age of 17 years, 6 months, and 5 days old) to purpose. She has chosen to honour and pay homage to her daughter by raising funds for childhood cancer research at Sick Kids in Toronto and to date has raised about $145,000.00.  The fund is called REMEMBER MIRANDA.

Patti believes that supporting the caregivers is just as important as supporting the dying at end-of-life.  She chooses to make a difference in the journey of others wherever possible. 

Karen Berti 900x1200 1 - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 5

Karen Berti

Palliative Medical Consultant

General Practitioner/Physician Consultant, Niagara North Family Health Team – NOTL Site

Karen Berti is a physician practicing in the Niagara region since 1997. She has a family medicine practice with the Niagara North Family Health Team in Niagara on the Lake .

Throughout her career she has worked in emergency medicine , brain trauma rehabilitation , elderly care , palliative care and MAID assessments. Karen has a high regard for Palliative Care, and believes it to be an essential part of healthcare.

She lives in Niagara on the lake with her husband and two adult sons.

rebecca Lambert - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 6

Rebecca Lambert Golding

Legal Liaison

Having seen first-hand the warmth and care of end-of-life treatment received by her two parents, Rebecca wishes to give back to this loving and supportive community. After moving to Canada 16yrs ago, Rebecca left her career in law and went to work for the Toronto Botanical Garden (“TBG”), initially as the adult education director, then as Head of New Business and Finance, and finally as Deputy Director. She served on the board of directors with the TBG and its finance committee and left in 2012 to return to school and pursue a Ph.D. in art history at the University of Toronto.


Petra Browning

Petra Browning

community Liasion

Petra is a lifelong resident of NOTL and owned and operated Lincoln Interiors in Virgil for over 30 years until closing it in 2019.

Her husband became terminally ill in 2013 and NOTL Community Palliative Care Service entered her life, helping her to care for her husband at home. After he passed away in spring of 2014, she and her children were involved in the grief counselling offered by NOTL Community Palliative Care. It helped them heal emotionally and spiritually.

Petra was thrilled when the board asked her to join as a Community Liaison the following year. She is grateful and enriched to be able to give back to this organization and the community in this way.

Rich Merlino Board - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 7

Rich Merlino

community Liaison- marketing

Rich has always been involved in the community, “raising my children to be exposed to volunteerism and giving back”. Rich was an active member of Niagara College Hospitality Advisory Committee, Niagara Falls Sunrise Rotary for 16 years, committee member of St. Catharine’s General Hospital Ride for Heart and Big Move Cancer Ride, member and chair of City of Niagara Falls Recreation Committee, and the Gale Centre Arena fundraising committee.

Rich truly enjoys connecting with people and helping whenever possible. Most recently raising funds for children’s charities in the process. Rich is proud to say that “in addition to having some great people run with me, we have raised just under $5000 for a variety of charities. I always tell people that my hardest day of running pales in comparison to the challenges cancer patients face during their struggle”


Joan Hyatt Board - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 8

Joan Hyatt

Community LIAISON Spiritual advisor

Community Support 

Joan is currently a registered psychotherapist and has been in private practice for 28yrs, has worked in community agencies for 20yrs prior to that. 

At present Joan also sits on the Board of a Community Church, and has served as a member for 12 years.  She has held various volunteer roles including prison ministry work, distress center, and training support for a local shelter.

Joan was part of the original Palliative Care Team here in Niagara-on-the-Lake back in 1988.

She is happy to be back offering support where needed in our community and within our organization.

Anna Schmoll

Anna Schmoll

Home/Personal Care

Community Liaison, Rose Hill Lane

Anna is the Owner and Director of Care of local Homecare Agency Rose Hill Lane. 

Anna is passionate about providing quality care to people living with limitations throughout the Niagara Region. Born and raised in Niagara, 

Anna is honored to contribute her knowledge and experience to the Niagara on the Lake Palliative Care Service.

Catharine Porter Board - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 9

Catherine Porter

Community LIAISON

Community Support 

Catherine, originally from Surrey, UK, where I was an Co-Owner/Director of Big Bird Sports, specializing in the supply of promotional goods into Premiership Football Clubs.

Moved to Canada in 2004.

Joined Simpson’s Pharmacy in 2006 and spent many years specializing in home health care. Now working in the role of Director of Operations.

I love working within the community of Niagara on the Lake and am excited and honoured to be asked to be part of the Palliative Care team.

I believe that care, dignity and compassion should be accessible to all as they reach the end of life.


Support Members

Services About Bonnie Bagnulo

Bonnie Bagnulo

Executive Director

Bonnie is an excellent facilitator, possessing incredible attention to detail, and most importantly, has an unequivocally compassionate nature. 

Personally, she has suffered tremendous loss, ultimately guiding her to her true calling so many years ago.  She is a self-motivated individual, driven by her passion for nurturing and educating others on a full scope of practice in the Palliative Care approach.

Her goal is to bring dignity and quality to end-of-life healthcare.

Trish Anthony - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 10

Trish Anthony

STAFF Office Assistant

Trish comes to us with a background in both healthcare and office work.

While living several years overseas, exposure to many cultures is an asset to our varied clientele.

After retiring to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2016, volunteering included driving for Wheels of Hope, working in the Office of the Canadian Cancer Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society, and volunteering with Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Service.

“I look forward to a long relationship with Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Service as we grow and expand. We are in exciting times.”

Staff photo for Melissa Nixon, Volunteer Coordinator for Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care

Melissa Nixon

STAFF Volunteer Coordinator

Melissa comes from an administrative background with a degree in Sales and Marketing. She has developed the skills necessary to effectively communicate in a professional and compassionate environment.

Melissa is always looking for ways to give back to the community, from being on the parent school council; to fundraising for various organizations such as FACS Niagara; to picking up garbage off the streets with her children. Raising her children to give back to this world is her top priority. Over the last 10 years, Melissa has lost a long list of very important people in her life. She has turned her grief into purpose and is very passionate about helping others to do the same.

Melissa’s warm and welcoming style is the perfect fit for leading our Volunteer Network.  As well as matching our clients to the right volunteer personalities. 

Geoff Straw - Niagara-on-the-Lake Community Palliative Care Services - 11

Geoff Straw M.A.

Psychosocial Support Consultant

Geoff Straw is a Registered Psychotherapist with 30+ years of experience. He has provided therapy and support to individuals, groups, and workplaces.

Geoff specializes in providing support to caregivers and individuals who are coping with illness and end-of-life care. He also specializes in comprehensive grief and bereavement support. 

While completing research with cancer patients during the M.A. program, Geoff developed a strong interest in helping individuals and families cope with the stress of illness and focused on reducing anxiety and finding meaning in life. 

Geoff also has a keen interest in promoting well-being through talk therapy, mindfulness practice and reducing anxiety for various life circumstances and transitions. He has worked as part of a team at the North Shore Palliative Care program in North Vancouver, B.C., B.C. Cancer Agency, and more recently – Hospice Niagara.

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