The Deuble/Aultman Story: How One Family’s Foundation Supported Generations of Healthcare

On one particular night decades ago, Helen had a good heart, but a bad pillow. She just couldn’t get comfortable or get to sleep. She was no stranger to hospital visits and heart trouble, having had a pacemaker put in years before, but on this stay at Aultman Hospital for heart-related health concerns, the pillows in her bed just wouldn’t allow her to find any comfort. She called her doctor and said the hospital should get some new pillows, and she wanted to help. The doctor asked how many, and Helen replied, “all of them. The whole hospital.” Soon after, she was in touch with an up and comer in purchasing named Ed Roth, who would later go on to become Aultman’s chief executive from 2001 – 2021. Helen said, “hand me my purse,” and wrote a check then and there to buy pillows for all patients at Aultman Hospital.

Helen Deuble’s selflessness is just one out of countless examples of how the Deuble family – and the George H. Deuble Foundation – has contributed to the health and well-being of the Stark County community over generations. Founded in 1947 by George Deuble, Helen’s husband, the Deuble Foundation made its inaugural philanthropic contribution to Aultman Hospital in the amount of $500 for lights and operating room updates.

“When the foundation started, it had $16,500, so that was a pretty sizeable donation at that point,” said Max Deuble, current executive director of the Deuble Foundation and great-grandson of its founder. “We’ve been longtime supporters of Aultman.”

It may be selling the family’s history with Aultman short to simply call it longtime support. The Deuble family was one of the founding families of Canton and has always been closely tied to the hospital, having been there for some of the many milestones over the years. Max’s great-great-uncle had the first brain surgery at Aultman. His great- grandmother continued to be involved supporting cardiac care after her pillow purchase, even having a wing named after her in the George and Helen Deuble Cardiac Care Unit in Aultman’s Bedford Building. The first Women’s Board Angel Auction, Aultman’s signature annual fundraising event, was chaired by Max’s grandmother, Beverly. His mother, Michelle, was a member of the Women’s Board of Aultman Hospital. And in January 2020, in honor of the Deuble Foundation’s near constant support over the decades, the Aultman Deuble Heart and Vascular Hospital was officially opened.

The Deuble family has been more than generous to Aultman, and Aultman continues to be their preferred hospital. “Both of my children were delivered there,” said Max. “So was I, as well as my brother and sister. Everyone has had procedures there over the years. It’s always been our hospital of choice, and I’ve always had first-rate care there. Everyone is always professional and kind.”

The Deuble Foundation’s endowment has grown significantly over the years, from its initial $16,500 in 1947 to about $25 million today. Its broad support includes arts, education, healthcare, economic development, preservation and more, primarily focusing on programs and organizations that help Canton and Stark County. Aultman has received a total of more than $3.8 million in funding from the Deuble Foundation over the many, many years.

“We are tremendously grateful for the continued support from the Deuble Foundation and the Deuble family, which has allowed Aultman to grow and better lead our community to improved health in countless ways over the decades,” said Rick Haines, president and CEO of Aultman Health Foundation. “Their generosity has had a positive impact on many lives at Aultman and throughout Stark County.”

Today, Max enjoys carrying on the traditions of his lineage and giving back to the Canton community. “I really believe in this area and community. I’m happy to raise my family here and be from here, and I really like to watch it flourish.”