Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA, has been named president of St. Christopher’s Inn, the Friars’ residential shelter and substance abuse treatment center at Graymoor in Garrison, New York, working with Sandra Iberger, who became its CEO/Executive Director in September. Fr. Polanco, who currently ministers at the Inn, was most recently instrumental in helping plan St. Paul’s Friary at Graymoor, which completed construction in 2016. They succeed Fr. Bill Drobach, SA, who will become the Friars’ novice director and oversee their house in Assisi, Italy, effective, January 1, 2018.
“We are deeply grateful to Fr. Drobach for his dedicated service to the thousands of men who have sought help at St. Christopher’s Inn over the years,” said Minister General Fr. Brian F. Terry, SA. “And we are confident that Fr. Dennis and Sandra Iberger will continue our mission of healing. We are blessed to be leaders of the most successful program in healing addiction. Fr. Dennis is a great addition to those who minister at St. Christopher’s, those who are geared towards excellence and a deep care of the men through the clinical and physical aspects of addiction, but more importantly to the profound healing of mind and spirit.”
Fr. Dennis Polanco, SA, was born in Baltimore in 1947. He entered the Friars’ seminary at Montour Falls, New York, made his first profession of vows in 1966, and was ordained in 1974. Since his ordination, he has served in parish, campus, and ecumenical ministries throughout North America and was for many years director of vocations at Graymoor and rector of the Friars’ former seminary in Washington DC.
Sandra Iberger, who has extensive experience in healthcare operations and finance, most recently was the vice president of operations for Greater Hudson Valley Healthcare System. Prior to that, she held executive positions at NYU Langone Medical Center and Continuum Health Partners (Beth Israel Medical Center and St Luke’s Roosevelt), both large academic medical centers in New York City. She earned a bachelor of science from the University of South Carolina and a master of business administration in healthcare administration from Baruch College. A fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and of the Healthcare Advisory Board in Washington, DC, she received ACHE’s 2014 Distinguished Service Award for her leadership and contributions to furthering professional excellence. In 2008, after more than 20 years of service, Sandra retired from the United States Air Force, NY Air National Guard, with the rank of major.
Fr. Bill Drobach, SA, who has served as CEO/president of St. Christopher’s Inn since June 2010, joined the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement in 1982. He received his bachelor’s in philosophy from Seton Hall University and a master’s of divinity from Washington Theological Union.
He completed ecumenical studies in Buddhism at Sophia University in Tokyo from 1985-1986, while he interned at one of the Friars’ parishes in Japan. After his ordination in 1988, he served at reconciliation communities in Bridgeport, St. Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies until 1991 when he became director of novices at Graymoor. He has served as pastor of St. Odilia’s Parish in South Central Los Angeles, California and as associate pastor at Church of the Atonement in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.