Judith B. Clinco, RN, BS, President and CEO of Catalina In-Home Services, Inc., Tucson Arizona, has been an innovator in community-based long-term care for over 30 years. A tireless advocate for professional standards for senior care aide education and service, she also works to promote livable wages and benefits for the industry.
Judy Clinco could never have envisioned how a search for in-home care for her mother would alter her own life forever. The year was 1980, Judy was a registered nurse, and she held high standards for treatment of all people - especially those with disabilities and elders – and she found the system sadly lacking in those qualities.
With a 12-week-old infant under her wing, Judy met the challenge. With ingenuity and fortitude Judy launched Catalina In-Home Services Inc., a highly-respected company that has thrived for 30 years, providing compassionate, dedicated in-home care for the Tucson area.
As the aging population grew by leaps and bounds, Judy recognized another need: better education for care-givers. With 20/20 vision of a school that could offer training opportunities for economically and educationally challenged adults in the community, Judy raised more than one million dollars to create The CareGiver Training Institute, a 501 (c) 3 corporation that has the highest standards in Arizona and provides tuition assistance for many students. In addition to preparing graduates for the work-force, her goal to bring them self-esteem, improved wages, and job-security has become a reality. CGTI is the largest training center of its type in Southern Arizona and the second largest in Arizona. More than 1,200 graduates in ten years have raised the standards and changed the face of elder care in the region, adding more than $20,000,000 annually to the economy while significantly reducing reliance on public assistance.
Judy’s concerns for the care-givers’ well-being and their public acceptance led to her newest venture: Arizona Direct Care Worker Association which she created in 2008. An organization under 501 (c) 3, ADCWA seeks political advocacy for those whose careers have been at the bottom of the ladder in terms of salaries and recognition. Benefits afforded to members of ADCWA include free interest-bearing checking accounts, both car repairs and urgent care at reduced costs, and YMCA memberships.
As a champion for under-represented citizens, Judy has given a voice to those who could not speak for themselves. She strives to improve the quality of care for elders and those with disability and chronic illness, to improve the quality and compensation for the job of care-givers, and to raise the status of these workers in our society.
The community has honored Judy with many accolades through the years, the most prestigious being the 2010 Athena Award which recognizes her strengths and contributions as a leader.