Woman of the Year 2019

Lori Butterworth, Founder and Executive Director at Jacob's Heart Cancer Support Services

The Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture has announced the recipients of its 2019 Annual Awards. These special locals have helped make Santa Cruz County a better place to live, love, work and play.

Woman of the Year: Lori Butterworth

Lori started Jacob’s Heart in 1998 at her kitchen table when her friends’ son Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia and has since built the organization from the ground up. Under her leadership, Jacob’s Heart has grown from serving one child with cancer 19 years ago, to being a nationally recognized model of community-based pediatric palliative care serving hundreds of children and thousands of family members each year.

In 2002, in response to a crisis in public health services for children with serious illnesses, she co­-founded the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition and served as co-executive director for eight years along with Devon Dabbs. There, they built a state-wide coalition dedicated to improving care for children with life-threatening conditions, spearheading several healthcare policy initiatives including the enactment of the Nick Snow Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Act of 2006, which paved the way for the Partners for Children pediatric palliative care program in California. She was instrumental in the enactment of Provision 2302 of the Affordable Care Act, which allows children to receive hospice care concurrently with curative therapies. These provisions allow for an entirely new hospice and palliative care service delivery model for children with cancer and other life-threatening conditions. The service delivery model created by Jacob’s Heart was key to the design of these public policy initiatives.

Written By: Justine DaCosta
Published: Santa Cruz Sentinel
January 19, 2019