LENORE STEIN-WOOD was born in 1937 to a working class family in Coney Island, New York, and was the oldest of three.
She excelled academically, however due to financial restraints, she was unable to attend college. She moved to California with her parents and brothers in 1953. She went to work for a group of physiatrists and neurologists and was there for 5 years.
At the age of 20 she married her first husband and they had two sons 13 months apart, David and Michael. After Mrs. Stein-Wood separated from her first husband, she worked at a medical clinic as well as a collection agency. Two physicians who met her through the collection agency asked her to help them start a home health agency in 1968. She became very interested in home health care because it allowed elderly and disabled patients to stay at home and avoid being placed in a nursing home.
After a short while of being involved in home health care, she realized that the Medicare benefits for seniors at living at home was not sufficient.
Several months after helping the physicians Mrs. Stein-Wood decided to open a home health agency of her own. Shortly after opening her own agency, she realized that the custodial services in many cases were much more important to keep people in their own home, rather then a skilled care.
Those custodial services are not covered by Medicare unless there is a need for skilled care. She opened a home maker service which provided custodial care non medicare covered.
While managing her businesses, Mrs. Stein-Wood met a marketing talent, William Wood, who later became her husband. By working together, they were able to strengthen and expand the agencies very quickly. By 1983, the agencies grew to be multimillion-dollar organizations with only one company, UpJohn, as a significant competitor.
However, for Ms. Stein-Wood, money was never the motivation, and she constantly found ways of using her success to give back to others. Shortly after she sold her companies, her son David, who was formerly depressed, committed suicide.
Ms. Stein-Wood found a way to turn a mother’s worst tragedy into something positive. She began to give her time, efforts and fortune to help bring a better quality of life to those suffering with physiological and psychological disorders. She wanted to make her son’s life count, and thus began to help those who had similar problems as David did, and was able to find healing through helping others. She was active in many organizations pertaining to her business.
Her company was granted two demonstration projects - one by the federal government and one by the state. Her company helped the federal government decide weather or not to cover in-house custodial care to elderly and disabled patients who sought to avoid being placed in long-term care facilities.
Her company also successfully demonstrated to the Medi-Cal program that allowing quadriplegic patients to remain at their homes is ultimately cost effective and benefits the quality of life of the patient.
Furthermore, Mrs. Stein-Wood donated her time to supporting senior citizens at retirement homes. She has also extended herself to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides aid to injured service members. Additionally, she has served on the board of councilors at USC’s School of Social Work for over 20 years. She also served Northwestern University’s Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders.
Moreover, Mrs. Stein-Wood also gave charitable contributions to the American Heart Association, which established the David Lawrence Stein Award in honor of her son’s memory. The award features the highest ranked pediatric research project in the Western States Affiliate. Mrs. Stein-Wood’s incredible efforts and her selfless acts of kindness have made her the co-recipient of the 12th Annual Society of Brain Mapping and Therapeutics Humanitarian Award.