Dwight Wilson, RN

June 2008

New Chief Executive Officer Brings Wealth of Experience


Dwight Wilson, Mission Hospice’s new chief executive director, comes from 31 years of supervising extended care programs – including hospice and respite units – in the Veterans’ Administration facilities in Menlo Park, Livermore and Palo Alto, but he’s excited about the opportunities at Mission Hospice.

“First of all, it’s got great people,” he said. “It’s been through challenges but my emphasis in on leveraging our strengths. We’re a small ‘boutique’ hospice that can provide individualized care to the San Mateo County community. We offer service 24/7. We’re viable, we’re here to stay and our leadership is strong.”

Judy DiPaolo, Mission Hospice Board of Directors member and Human Resources director at Mills-Peninsula Health Services, said Wilson is exceptionally well-qualified.

“He comes with a great deal of experience both in healthcare and the community,” she said. “We find him to be an excellent match.”

In addition to his professional credentials, Wilson is a past president of the board of Coastside Children’s Programs and a member of the Cabrillo Unified School District Board of Trustees. He is a past president of the San Mateo County Visiting Nurses Association.

Born in Berkeley, Wilson grew up in Oregon, where he received bachelor’s degrees in science (1971) and nursing (1974). He earned a master’s degree in nursing/gerontology at the University of Washington in 1975 and did doctoral work at UCSF in the late 1980s.

Wilson started his career first as a licensed vocational nurse working in a nursing home with his father-in-law, a registered nurse.

“I was always attracted to long-term nursing,” he said. “I’ve never been happy with the care we give older people. I’d like to think I’ve helped improve care at the VA.”

As associate chief of staff for Extended Care, he was responsible for administering and directing 454 skilled nursing home beds including respite, hospice and transition care, gero-psychiatric, neuro-behavioral, dementia and sub-acute care.

In addition, he chaired a region-wide extended care product line for the VA responsible for developing policies and procedures for long-term care and home care programs. He also was the principal investigator for a three-year study of program models in nursing homes funded by the National Institute of Health.

Wilson and his wife, Julia, a public health nurse, have been married for 36 years. They live in Moss Beach and have three adult children. He started at Mission Hospice March 31, three days after retiring from the VA.