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Meet Tanya Gee of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston and Galveston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanya Gee.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Many years ago I began my first career as a pediatric critical care nurse working in various teaching hospitals in Texas and Louisiana. During that career, I developed skills as a transport nurse of the critically ill child, a clinical researcher, an educator of my fellow PICU nurses, and advanced therapeutics provider including ECMO (cardiac bypass) and liquid ventilation.

As that career was drawing to a close, I seized an opportunity to obtain my Masters in Business with a focus on Management Information Systems in hopes of bridging the gap of provider and programmer as electronic medical records began entering hospitals. Then life took a turn and I became a Mom of four boys – a singleton and a set of triplets.

While pregnant with the triplets I became the parent of three preemies who needed support in a neonatal intensive care unit. The next step in my journey led from non-profit volunteer to non-profit executive where I currently use all of the skills learned along the way to bridge the gap for over 8,000 under-served Houston children annually.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey has had many plot twists and turns, and through it all, I learned to embrace those changes and new pathways. Each twist and turn led to new adventures that have enabled me to meet some of the most amazing people around. Every struggle has been an adventure that has enabled me to learn more about who I am and who I want to be. All of these life lessons and how I dealt with them have helped form a rock solid foundation of knowledge to draw from when new experiences pop up.

To most HR execs, my resume looks very nontraditional and disjointed. To me, it is like an amazing patchwork quilt of scraps from favorite old t-shirts. A quilt so soft and comforting you really want to just wrap up in it and enjoy a quiet evening in front of a fire. Each square you touch reminding you of amazing experiences and memories of adventures and people you met along the way. Maybe some of the memories like fabrics are a little scratchy, but without them, the quilt would just not be complete.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston – what should we know?
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston is part of an international family of Ronald McDonald House Charity Chapters including many Ronald McDonald Houses (RMH). Our chapter though does not have an RMH. Our chapter is focused on finding, creating and supporting programs that directly benefit the health and well-being of children out in the community. Our two flagship programs at present are our two Ronald McDonald Care Mobiles (RMCM) and our four Ronald McDonald C.H.E.E.R.! Rooms.

Our RMCMs are state-of-the-art mobile dental and medical clinics on wheels traveling around the Greater Houston area serving families in our community who don’t have the resources to obtain medical or dental care. After Hurricane Harvey, our RMCMs were deployed to area shelters and affected communities to provide care where it was needed most. Our RMCMs have always worked hard to bridge the gap between under-served children and community agencies by traveling to locations lacking in pediatric and dental resources.

In the days following the hurricane’s devastation, it became a critical component of our disaster response and seamlessly aligned with our chapter’s mission to support programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. Tropical weather patterns including major storms are a way of life in our area and response to these storms is now a necessary way to support the community.

Our Ronald McDonald C.H.E.E.R.! Rooms are located in UTMB clinics in under-served communities where mothers are receiving obstetrical care and have brought their other children along. These rooms offer to play with a purpose for our visitors. The children receive bi-lingual health and wellness lessons and early literacy lessons while waiting for their mothers.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
In all of my adventures in life both professionally and personally the two characteristics that are most important to my success are honesty and compromise. For a compromise, I am always looking for the common ground in any situation.

Every side of a discussion has valid points and I always strive to look for the parts that are agreeable to all sides. Not everyone will feel they got their way, but they should all feel as though their opinion was heard and appreciated.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Karen LaFleur

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