Donor Spotlight: Perry Gee

Perry Gee at home, smiling and holding an infantPerry M. Gee, Ph.D., RN is a nurse scientist in the nursing research and analytics department. He has 20 years of service with Dignity Health.

What area do you philanthropically support and why?

I was so moved on December 2, 2016 when 36 souls were lost in the Oakland warehouse fire. I wanted to do my small part to help. I was so pleased that Mr. Dean sent out a message describing Dignity Health’s support for the victims of the tragic fire. I took advantage of an opportunity through Dignity Health Foundation to make my contribution for the victims. I was happy to be able to help in some small way.

Over the years I decided to donate a monthly amount to the Mercy Foundation North area of greatest need fund. I started working at Mercy Medical Center in 1997 as a clinical informatics specialist. My role soon spread to the entire Northstate region. I got to know and love the wonderful Dignity Health staff in that area and made so many good friends and colleagues. I raised my family just outside Shasta Lake and we truly loved our community. Over the years I also became a nursing professor at Shasta College, Simpson University and California State University, Chico. I had the opportunity to educate so many caring and dedicated nurses in the region.

What motivates you to give?

Beautiful Shasta County and the adjoining counties in Northern California have some of the highest levels of poverty and poor health in the state of California. The Dignity Health facilities in that region are making tremendous strides in improving the health of their communities. The great works like that of the Golden Umbrella literally has health impact into the far corners of their counties. I truly believe that the Mercy Foundation North area of greatest need fund will be used to benefit the health of the great people in that area. We recently left California and moved to another western state but I am hoping that my small monthly contribution will continue the Dignity Health mission to the underserved in far Northern California; it makes me feel connected to the communities and the people my family and I love so much.

Why do you think it’s important to be engaged through philanthropy as a Dignity Health employee?

I am so fortunate and grateful to be working for a mission-driven company like Dignity Health. And I have a good salary and benefits package to reward my hard work. I feel like I make enough to support the generous philanthropic efforts of Dignity Health. With tens of thousands of employees, my modest contribution combined with that of my peers can really make a difference in the lives of the people we serve.

I have personally seen the positive impact of the employee gifts. I have participated in the nationally-recognized human trafficking training efforts at Dignity Health and know these educational sessions are made possible by the donations to the foundation. I have personally heard from survivors of human trafficking the importance of this training to them and other potential victims of modern human slavery. Our contributions matter and impact lives; what a great feeling.

What is your fondest memory of working at Dignity Health?

My fondest memories of working at Dignity Health are when I am in the clinical units and learning from the nurses and other staff. The nurses giving direct patient care have so much knowledge and wisdom to share. I am fortunate enough to have the kind of job where I can immerse myself in the clinical units and speak one-on-one with the nurses, learning from them what works in their clinical setting and what we can do to make things even better for our patients, their families, and our staff. It is such a privilege to meet our incredible clinicians from around the organization and to see their caring in action!

What is a fun fact others might not know about you?

I work on a virtual team for Dignity Health and we are scattered all over the west. I live with my nursing professor wife in North Ogden, Utah at the foot of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains. When I am not fishing, hiking or cross country skiing I am faculty at four major universities and conduct additional research in chronic disease self-management and how online peer support may help those living with illness improve their health and quality of life.