Judy DiPaolo

Judy DiPaolo

Judy DiPaolo to receive 2023 Lotus Award at anniversary celebration

Winter 2023

We are thrilled to present volunteer leader and board member Judy DiPaolo with the 2023 Mission Hospice Lotus Award at our 44th anniversary celebration on Sunday, January 29. Since 2005, this annual award has been given to an individual who has shown outstanding support of the organization. After several years of hiatus for both the celebration and award due to COVID, we will finally gather in person again at the Peninsula Golf & Country Club in San Mateo.

The decision of the Lotus Award Committee to honor Judy was unanimous. Judy’s career involved leading large HR teams for both Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the Peninsula Coastal Region of Sutter Health.
As a board member for nearly two decades, she has graciously shared her HR and healthcare expertise to help guide our organization. 

Lotus Award Committee member and former board member Mary Chigos says, “Every CEO that Judy has worked with considered her invaluable. She is the go-to person for management questions and decisions regarding Human Resources. Everyone looks to her for history, vision, and direction.”

In her years of volunteering with Mission Hospice, Judy served as Board Chair for three years, chaired the board’s HR Committee, and participated on many other committees. Currently she is the Board Secretary and also serves on the Quality and Compliance Committee.

Former board chair Steven Weller, also a member of the Lotus Committee, says, “Judy is a terrific leader. When she makes up her mind based on evidence and thought, she’s calm but very firm in her decisions – she carries forward with conviction.”

“In addition to being one of the nicest people we all know, she’s been so generous over the years to Mission Hospice,” says Steve. “She is always willing to take on duties and tasks. She never says no. She first says yes to her family, and then second, yes to Mission Hospice.”

Mary agrees. “Judy is a one-of-a-kind person – bright, giving, loving, and dedicated, all while being quietly humble.”

True to form, Judy’s response to learning that she was to receive the award was to share the honor with the entire team. 

“I am tremendously honored to be recognized,” says Judy, “but the award really goes to everyone at Mission Hospice. At a small nonprofit like ours, it takes a talented, dedicated group of staff, volunteers, the Auxiliary, and the board working together as a team.”

“To me, this award is a tremendous thank you to everyone who collaborates to make it work. We have really wonderful, dedicated people at Mission Hospice who give of themselves generously. It’s so rewarding knowing that we make a difference in the community.”  

Tickets for the anniversary celebration on January 29, 2023 are available here

Professional expertise and a passion for health care

Summer 2013

Two themes have run through Judy DiPaolo’s professional and volunteer life: health care and human resources. For 25 years, Judy has worked as a human resources (HR) leader for Mills-Peninsula Health Services and the Peninsula Coastal Region of Sutter Health, where she managed a team of professionals in support of 7000 employees.

Her roots in health care run deep. After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in medical social work and completing graduate school, she headed to West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer, where she established and ran baby clinics in Burkina Faso for two and a half years.

Following her return to the states, Judy jumped on an opportunity to become a human resources professional. She says she loves the fast pace. “It is never boring – new issues come up every day.” She also finds it a great opportunity to exercise both the analytical and the people-oriented sides of her brain.

The combination of her full-time career, raising a family, and volunteer activities such as PTA kept Judy more than busy for many years. After her sons left for college, she was ready for a new kind of community service. She was asked to join the Mission Hospice Board of Directors in 2004, and immediately found it was a good fit, explaining that “hospice care is something that is near and dear to my heart.”

Not surprisingly, Judy chairs our board’s HR committee; she also serves on the Executive Committee. Recently she was elected Secretary, and she now serves on the Palliative Care Committee as well.

Her broad understanding of health care issues in general – and of the specific staffing and accreditation issues facing medical organizations – has been invaluable to Mission Hospice. As the organization has grown, Judy’s expertise and guidance has been key to ensuring that we can do that in a meaningful and responsible way – and that our staff is ready to support that growth.

Outside of the board room, Judy advises Mission Hospice CEO Dwight Wilson on Human Resources issues. She’s just now completing a months-long project: an employee satisfaction survey. By meeting and interviewing teams of Mission Hospice employees across the organization, Judy was able to provide valuable feedback to leaders to help them grow and strengthen their teams.

Her calm professionalism is matched by her generosity and enthusiasm for serving the community. “Everyone wants to feel, at the end of the day, that they’re making a difference,” Judy said. “I love working for an organization that puts the patient first. It’s all about the care for the patient and the service that can be provided. It’s gratifying that my background and experience are of value in helping the organization continue to grow and succeed. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish at Mission Hospice.”