CURE Spotlights 2020


August 05, 2020

Georgia Harrington Thumbnail

As Senior Vice President of Operations at University of Maryland Medical Center, Georgia Harrington, MSHA is responsible for overseeing a wide range of functions including security and safety, facilities management, construction, supply chain management, imaging, pathology, labs, and emergency management and sustainability.

Every day, she seeks to make UM’s flagship hospital as safe, comfortable, and supportive as it can be for patients and their families. Having worked in hospital systems across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, Mrs. Harrington is passionate about confronting barriers to entry in health careers and encouraging young people to pursue their dreams. She has been named CURE’s Donor of the Quarter.

Q: How did you first get involved with the UMB CURE Scholars Program?

A: I was introduced to the program by UMB CURE Scholars Advisory Board member, Dana Farrakhan who encouraged me to learn more.  Once I met with staff members and came to fully understand the program, I knew I wanted to be involved, and that I could make a difference in young lives. 

Q: Why do you support UMB CURE Scholars philanthropically?

A: I support the program because I have always wanted to make a difference. I did not grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth. Neither of my parents finished high school. I describe myself as a “little country girl” who has achieved many of my dreams. Many of the things I have been able to accomplish have been due, in part, to the support and encouragement I received along the way. In our CURE Scholars I see myself, and I want to do what I can to help them achieve their own dreams.

Q: Are there people in your life who have modeled philanthropy or particularly encouraged you to give back?

A: As I said, I did not grow up wealthy. However, my parents raised my four sisters and me with the understanding that education was the key to living a good life. It was never “if” we were doing to go to college, but “when.” My parents wanted a better life for us, and they went about achieving that by making whatever sacrifice was necessary. They worked long hours. Indeed, in his limited free time, my father self-taught his way to a large equipment mechanic position that provided a measure of financial security. I follow my parent’s example and do everything I can– financially and through mentoring – to reach back and support the next generation.   

Q: What do you think is the most effective way to introduce new people to the UMB CURE Scholars Program?

A: My own introduction was a textbook example of what works best for promoting a program like CURE. First, I heard about the program from a trusted colleague, who spoke about her first-hand experience with the Scholars. From that conversation I agreed to meet with CURE staff and learn more. At that meeting, I was able to hear individual stories about the impact the program was making in these Scholars’ and families’ lives.  And the beautiful pictures of smiling UMB CURE Scholars in their lab coats didn’t hurt!

Challenge or Advice to Scholars?

Mrs. Harrington challenges out UMB CURE Scholars to not let go of their dreams. “Remember that all things are possible IF you put in the work, and do not give up. I have found that when you run into problems and obstacles, it also helps to be open-minded, and to try to see the way other people have navigated similar challenges, and adjust your approach. But never to give up! If you can dream it; it is possible.

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