Developing leadership to advance health

Perry Gee with colleagues
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Perry Gee

Location: Redding

Impact: Advancing health care via nursing education and leadership opportunities in the region

“I wanted to be a part of the transformational change in nursing,” nursing educator Perry Gee says, “but wasn’t exactly sure how to go about it until I went back to school and gained the skills to give back, doing exactly what I believe in and love.”

Gee knows the challenges of advancing health and improving care in a regional health hub with no graduate-degree programs. Without those resources, it takes a sophisticated understanding of leadership to help nurses in Redding elevate their profession from within.

That’s why he decided the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing was the one for him when he decided to pursue a doctoral degree.

“I recognized nurses in Redding don’t have the same opportunities as nurses in other parts of the state,” Gee says. “My goal is to open those doors to further their education.”

Leadership development is a core element featured throughout the interprofessional Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group Degree Programs.

Gee says he was impressed with how this concept was woven into every facet of the curriculum. 

Students assess the type of leader they want to become and then mentor others and lead projects to enhance these skills at a deeper level.  They build leadership skills and learn how to inspire a shared vision and engage others to accomplish goals.

Gee applies these lessons every day to make changes in his profession when he is teaching at Simpson University or in the UC Davis Extension Health Informatics Certificate Program.

Collaboration is key in his approach. Co-founder of the Northern California Professional Nurse Network, he links UC Davis experts to Redding by inviting  nurse leaders to visit students and discuss national health-care issues. He also builds partnerships with local hospitals, clinics agencies to provide networking opportunities, meeting space and continuing education. 

All of this has already led, Gee says, to increased interest in nursing in the region, new efforts to provide advanced nursing  education and renewed commitment to improve care.