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MCH CEO inducted into Hall of Fame

For The Madera Tribune

Karen Paolinelli, holding granddaughter Penelope, stands with family after her induction into the Central San Joaquin Nursing Hall of Fame. The Madera Community Hospital CEO originally received the honor in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the induction ceremony was postponed until earlier this month.


Getting inducted into a Hall of Fame is an ultimate honor, no matter what the Hall of Fame is for.

Madera Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer Karen Paolinelli became a member of the 17th Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame.

She is a member of the 2020 class, but because of COVID-19, an induction ceremony wasn’t held. Paolinelli was honored last week with the inductees for the 2021 and 2022 classes.

The Central San Joaquin Valley Nursing Hall of Fame honors the careers of nurse leaders within the seven-county region of the Central San Joaquin Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare. This award is jointly sponsored by the School of Nursing at California State University, Fresno, Sigma Theta Tau International, Mu Nu Chapter Nursing Honor Society, and the Nursing Leadership Coalition of the Central San Joaquin Valley.

A Nursing Hall of Fame display with the names of each year’s honorees is located at the School of Nursing at California State University, Fresno.

Paolinelli joined Jeanne Frye Prandini on Sept. 14 at Pardini’s Restaurant as members of the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees.

Paolinelli has served the Central San Joaquin Valley well over 34 years as an RN, nurse practitioner, educator, leader, and administrator. She has worked in hospital management as house supervisor and director of many programs and departments where she improved patient outcomes, growth, and financials.

Paolinelli has served as Directors of Emergency Services, Hospital Employee Health and Wellness Program, Comprehensive Perinatal Services, Rural Health and Specialty Clinics at Madera Community Hospital.

She was named Madera Community Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in May of 2018. The appointment is the capstone of a 36-year career with Madera Community Hospital, a 106 bed General Acute Care Hospital.

Prior to being named CEO, she served as the Chief Operating Officer where she provided administrative oversight and strategic planning for the hospital’s support services divisions including the continued development of Hospital’s Rural Health Clinic system, she established in 1992.

Serving as Chief Executive Officer, Paolinelli’s strong background in nursing anchors her hospital leadership. She models an interdisciplinary team approach to ensure clinical best practices in the delivery of quality, safe and efficient patient care.

Paolinelli emphasizes fiscal accountability, exceeding regulatory compliance and innovation in collaboration with clinical and physician leaders.

Her educational background includes a Master of Science in Nursing, Registered Nurse, Board Certified Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant, and holds title of a Distinguished Fellow. She has more than 20 years’ experience in Rural Health Clinics and currently serves as President of the California Association of Rural Health Clinics and the California Association of Nurse Practitioners — Fresno Chapter as well as serving on many Nursing Advisory Boards.


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