Donor Spotlight: Rev. Tom Harshman

Portrait of Tom Harshman and familyRev. Tom Harshman is the director of spiritual care and clinical pastoral education in the Mission Integration Department. He has 18 years of service with Dignity Health.

What area do you philanthropically support and why?

I support Barrow Brainbook. When my nephew was 11, he had a significant head injury; I will never forget what my brother’s voice sounded like as he told me. My nephew was extremely fortunate, had outstanding medical access and care, and recovered well. Concussion education, assessments, and testing are critical, particularly for high school athletes. Brainbook helps spread awareness and skills to further a more holistic approach to preventing and responding to concussions.

What motivated you to start giving?

When I got my first adult job, my dad told me about how his commitment to “tithing” his earnings had always meant something to him, even during years when finances were a struggle. He encouraged me to “start from the beginning”. Giving has led me into some interesting relationships and situations because giving money is often the beginning of other ways of becoming involved in some great work.

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

I find a lot of happiness in my work and in the people with whom I work. I get paid to do what brings me joy. Engaging in philanthropy gives me yet another opportunity to be grateful for having meaningful work that also allows me to have financial choices. It reminds me that the abundance I’ve received is all a gift, some of which I get to pass on to someone else.

What is your fondest memory of working at Dignity Health?

A birthday party for a co-worker that we held at Moss Beach. It could have been the most I’ve ever laughed in any four hours of my life.

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

I can take a pile of sheep wool, and card, clean, spin, and knit it into a scarf….just in case I ever get stranded on a Scottish island and am cold.