[caption id="attachment_10870" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Jill Magri"][/caption]
Chief Operating Officer
San Rafael Kaiser Permanente Foundation Hospital
99 Monticello Road
San Rafael 94903
by D. Ashley FurnessBusiness Journal Staff Reporter
SAN RAFAEL - From her beginnings as a teen volunteer in a rural Montana hospital to her work as a registered nurse and international medical volunteer, Kaiser administrator Jill Magri has dedicated her entire career to the industry.
"For me, working in health care has such an incredible mission, and the opportunity to make a difference in people's lives is so special, whether directly as a registered nurse or indirectly as an administrator," she said.
"I feel extremely blessed to be able to do what I do."
As the daughter of a clinical lab scientist and a dentist, it could be said health care runs in her blood. In fact, she was enlisted as a receptionist in her father's office as her first job at 15, but quickly went on to volunteer in the admitting department of a 20-bed hospital when she was 16 and 17. At the same time, she worked for the state testing the safety of water after massive floods in Yellowstone National Park.
"There was a lot of science in the family, and it was all around me growing up with my father being a dental surgery doctor, but I can remember wanting to be a nurse from the time I was fairly little," she said.
"It always seemed like a really natural decision for me."
Ms. Magri earned her nursing degree and master's in business administration from Gonzaga University, where she asserted her calling was to care for the "sickest of the sick." The Montana-native took her degree and started work right away in a Washington hospital intensive care unit.
Over the course of several years, Ms. Magri worked in facilities in Texas and other areas of the south, including Southern California.
As director of critical care services in San Diego, she went on her first of what would become dozens of expeditions to Mexico through the Scripps Health Mercy Outreach Surgical Team to assist surgeries for the underprivileged. More than 12 years later, she still dedicates at least two weeks a year to the mission, providing cleft palate, club foot, crossed-eye repair and other surgeries.
"It's such an amazing thing, how one, 10-minute surgery can change someone's life for children or adults who otherwise would not have an easy path through life," she said.
In addition to her work abroad, the Ida M. Cannon social work winner dedicates her time to ensuring the region has an adequate supply of nurses. She was a founding partner with the College of Marin and other players in the 2007 opening of the innovative Clinical Simulation Center, which trains future health care workers through the use of state-of-the-art technology.
"The nation and California in particular is facing a nursing shortage, which in large part is due to the lack of available faculty to teach them," she said.