Lori Butterworth

AIM’s CEO, Lori Butterworth, is an award-winning nonprofit executive and one of the leading child advocates in the State of California. After 13 years as a bilingual educator in the inner-city, Lori discovered a dearth in emotional and practical support for children with cancer when a teaching colleague’s 5-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. In response, she built Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services from her kitchen table and transformed it into a multi-faceted family center, which has won multiple regional and national awards for its model of compassionate, family-centered care.

Lori Photo

In response to a crisis in public health services and lack of emotional support resource for families of seriously ill children, Lori co-founded the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition of California and built a state-wide coalition spearheading several healthcare policy initiatives including the enactment of the Nick Snow Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care ACT and Provision 2302 of the Affordable Care Act, which transformed access to care for children.

Lori’s awards include Oprah Winfrey’s “Use Your Life Award,” the California Association of Nonprofits’ “Achievement in Innovation Award,” the “ELNEC” Award from the City of Hope for outstanding leadership, commitment, and advocacy for children and families, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Award of Excellence” for advocating for health system changes to bring about better care for children. Lori was honored as Woman of the Year for the Santa Cruz Chamber, Aptos, and Pajaro Valley Chambers of Commerce. She received the “Community Hero” award for the Community Assessment Project of Santa Cruz County and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Red Cross.

A life-long learner, Lori recently earned a Master of Liberal Arts, Psychology from Harvard University, and holds a Master of Education from University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Lori lives in Soquel, California with her husband, Joe, and their dog, Theo. Her greatest accomplishment in life is raising two amazing children, Matthew and Johanna, into thriving, compassionate adults and becoming the proud grandmother of William and Michael.

Published Research:

Butterworth, L., Pyke-Grimm, K., Nassar, A., Swisher, D., Johnson, K. (2021). Reigniting the Passion for Nursing: Impact of Volunteer Service at a Camp for Children with Cancer: The Restorative Experience of Pediatric Intensive Care Nurses. Journal of Nursing Administration.

Johnston, E., Molina, J., Martinez, I., Dionne-Odom, N., Currie, E., Crowl, T., Butterworth, L, Rosenberg, A. (2020). Bereaved parents’ views on end-of-life care for children with cancer: Quality marker implications. Cancer, 2020.

Butterworth, L. (2020). The State of Pediatric Palliative Care in California: The boy who never smiled. In National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Pediatric e-journal, Legislative Issues, April 2020.

Dabbs, D., Butterworth, L., Gilmer, M., Greffe, B. & Hellsten, M. (2011). The Art of Advocacy. In Carter, B. S., Levetown, M., & Friebert, S. E. (2011). Palliative care for infants, children, and adolescents: A practical handbook. (pp. 114-136). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Dabbs, D., Butterworth, L., Hall, E. (2007). Tender Mercies: Increasing Access to Hospice Services for Children with Life-Threatening Conditions. MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 32(5), 311-319.

"Our children deserve the best that we can give them. That’s why AIM funds the best science to find the best path to health and happiness for our children - the best we have to offer them.”

Lori ButterworthAIM Chief Executive Officer