June 20, 2008
Judith Verdino, a dedicated and respected veteran of New York City's AIDS community, died last Friday from complications from breast cancer.
Verdino worked at Public Health Solutions (formerly the Medical and Health Research Association of New York City) for 14 years. As the organization's vice president for special initiatives and H.I.V. programs, Verdino played an integral role in determining how millions in Ryan White, New York City and Centers for Disease Control funds were distributed.
"Judi always cared about making sure that the process worked for people," said Community Resource Exchange's Barbara Turk, who performed a commitment ceremony between Verdino and her partner, Imani Romney-Rosa in 2007. "She had worked at [the LGBT nonprofit] Hetrick-Martin and that informed her understanding of challenges that both people living with HIV and nonprofits face."
Public Health Solution's President and CEO Ellen Rautenberg said, "Judy was passionate about developing networks of care. She could thread the needle between government, nonprofits and people living with HIV. She used her sense of humor and astuteness to do that, and people respected her passion and energy. And it was never about Judy. You can't always say that. She put the epidemic and people living with HIV first."
Verdino is survived by her daughter, Genna Verdino-Ellis, her brother and sister, Christopher and Joanne Verdino, her nieces Codi and Kasey Ng, and her wife, Imani Romney-Rosa.