LeadingAge is a state trade association serving not-for-profit and mission-driven organizations dedicated to providing quality housing and skilled long term services. It supports more than 10,000 of the State’s elderly and disabled individuals each day. Member communities consist of about 12,000 employees and more than 5,000 volunteers. LeadingAge Washington represents and promotes the common interests of its members through leadership, advocacy, education, and member services to enhance their ability to provide quality care and service to their residents and clients.
LeadingAge Washington’s Awards and Recognition Program is all about people who make a difference every day in the lives of those they serve. It’s about people who put quality first, deliver excellence, and inspire others to do the same. The LeadingAge Awards Program recognizes those individuals and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution in the fields of aging, health care, housing and community-based services. It is a way of saying thank you to those who do more than what is merely expected of them and who do the right things for the right reasons.
LeadingAge’s highest award is presented to one distinguished individual who has provided outstanding leadership in creating the future of Aging Services and reinforcing our fundamental values.
- The individual’s imaginative leadership, exceptional service and commitment to quality are advancing both the association and the aging services field.
- Nominee has accomplished significant goals over a substantial period of time.
- Nominee’s cumulative, ongoing achievements and positive impact on the field are notable and worthy of state andnational recognition.
On June 11, 2014, during the awards banquet at the 63rd annual conference held in Pasco, Washington, President and CEO of Panorama, Joseph J. Di Santo was presented with the Award of Honor.
As stated by Larry Foss, Chair-Elect of Leading Age’s Board of Directors and Deb Murphy, Chief Executive Officer when presenting the award to Mr. Di Santo:
‘In considering the winner of this award, LeadingAge Washington seeks to identify an individual that embodies an outstanding spirit of care, of vision, of energy, of leadership. Though there were other very deserving candidates this year, we chose Joseph Di Santo for this distinguished award.
Joe came to Panorama ten years after it converted from a for-profit to a non-profit status. He came to the organization while it was still a diamond in the rough, and had the vision and leadership to bring Panorama where it is today- rated at the top of the industry, with services and care among the very best. Joseph Di Santo’s leadership has given dignity to its residents, self-worth to Panorama employees, financial assurance to those seeking to live there.
From a wealth of engaging and community-building activities for all levels of care, a public art policy that brings distinguished art works to the campus, and the largest private arboretum in western Washington, it’s no wonder that Panorama has such a powerful referral base; where current residents refer more than 42 percent of its prospects.
Panorama has a broad perspective for health care services that emphasizes “the human touch”. For residents who live independently, there are three social workers to serve their needs. In addition there are five social workers in the skilled nursing facility. Clinical care and hospitality are seamlessly blended in their beautiful skilled nursing facility, opened in 2011. Partnering with Providence Hospital, Panorama is also home to a 7000 sq ft clinic.”
Joe’s staffing philosophy says it all: “I hire the very best people I can find, compensate them as well as I can, show them the road map, and then get out of their way.” Such respect and autonomy fosters low turnover and high commitment from staff. Joe takes his commitment to being employer of choice very personally. “I want our employees to know that Panorama cares about them and when faced with an emergency, we are here to help.” Through Joe’s pioneering vision, care and leadership, Panorama has evolved to be an outstanding and expansive community that delivers on its mission promises of a high-integrity workplace and high-quality community for its residents.” ‘
Upon receiving the Award of Honor designation, Mr. Di Santo commented that it was humbling to receive this award. He further stated it was not one man, one person, but a group that deserved the award. He stated that it was the work of a great staff, residents, and Board of Directors, and that he would represent everyone for this particular honor.
Panorama is honored to have Joe Di Santo leading the organization in its continued quest for excellence and drive to enrich the lives of residents through public art, continual learning and self-fulfillment opportunities through the arts programs and lifestyle enrichment activities.