Dr. Robert Roe

Anniversary celebration to honor Dr. Robert Roe with 2024 Lotus Award

January 2024

Each year, Mission Hospice presents the Lotus Award to an individual who has shown outstanding support of the organization. At February’s anniversary celebration, that honor will go to Robert (Bob) Roe of Palo Alto, who has served as a volunteer board member for Mission Hospice since 2014. He is known for his dedication to nonprofit care, his generosity and willingness to do whatever needs doing, and his quiet, calm leadership style.

Bob Roe with Auxiliary President Vibeke GadeAfter a successful career as a physician and leader in the pharmaceutical / biotechnology industry and what he calls his “second or third retirement,” Bob was looking for a way to give back. As it turns out, his friend Bob Sawyer was just about to step down from the Mission Hospice board of directors, and he asked Dr. Roe whether he might be interested in joining the board.

Bob’s experiences both as a physician and as a son led him to say yes. “One of my parents was in hospice and one wasn’t,” he says, “and I could see the different outcomes there.”

“The decision to join the Mission Hospice board was one of the best decisions of my life. It’s really an extraordinary group of individuals, both the caregivers and the people who make sure the organization is running stably and efficiently. It’s such a remarkable and dedicated group of people.”

He served as chair from 2019-2021, during which time Board member Sheila Young says “he steered the organization wisely and capably through periods of both growth and transition. His knowledge and wisdom have been valuable gifts to Mission Hospice.”

Bob is particularly committed to nonprofit hospice care, something that is reflected in his efforts to ensure that Mission Hospice can continue in the face of increasing competition from for-profit businesses. His experience across many aspects of healthcare – including strategic development and operations – has been key to guiding our organization through these challenges.

In addition to serving on the board, Bob has recently joined the Mission Hospice Auxiliary, which organizes special events that raise funds and celebrate community to support patient care. He is particularly pleased to be a part of this group, which for decades was all women, after leading the call to allow men to become Auxiliary members.

Former board member Mary Chigos says, “Bob has done so much to support Mission Hospice over the years. He has given the gifts of time, patience, and support whenever needed. And he’s the epitome of a gentleman – with the best smile in the world. He’s a helluva guy.”