Throughout his professional journey, Gurpreet Dhillon has found himself gravitating towards leadership positions centered around helping people.
“It’s about working together to solve the problems we have in our community and building on our strengths to serve more and to serve greater,” the 38-year-old said.
Dhillon was born in India and moved to the United States when he was six. He has lived in Bellingham for the past 26 years and has used his business success to help strengthen the Whatcom County community in a variety of ways.
After earning his bachelor’s in management information systems from Western Washington University in 2004, Dhillon began working at the hospital as a quality management analyst.
His work involved analyzing data to improve healthcare outcomes. However, he soon realized that he thrived as a people person and didn’t want the majority of his work to be from behind a screen.
Dhillon returned to Western where he earned his masters of business administration which he completed in 2006. He then began working as a quality facilitator project manager at the hospital.
Meanwhile, he was serving as a campaign chair for United Way of Whatcom County, encouraging people to contribute to the community they live in.
“To lead people who are volunteering through the extra work they are doing taught me a lot about how to motivate others,” Dhillon said.
At the age of 23, Dhillon was selected as campaign coordinator of the year for United Way of Whatcom County. The same non-profit that supported Dhillon and his family at the age of 12 when his mother passed away in a car accident.
I am passionate about giving back because I recognize the impact it had on me when I needed it, Dhillon said.
Currently, Dhillon is working as the Director for the Cancer Center, Palliative and Hospice Care in both inpatient and outpatients settings. In 2017 he developed and implemented PeaceHealth’s new Outpatient Palliative Care Program.
“At PeaceHealth we take care of the entire community,” Dhillon said. “We have seen an eight to nine percent increase in cancer care year over year. That’s a big deal when people are wanting to stay local and you are able to wrap your arms around them and take care of all their needs.”
Dhillon currently serves on the board for Whatcom Council on Aging which helps advocates for seniors in the community. He also works with Northwest Life Passages and the Aging Well Initiative.
Over the years he has operated and increased business for three Port of Subs restaurants which in turn donate to a variety of charities such as Meals on Wheels, HomesNow and the American Red Cross.
“We are always looking for ways to contribute and support with a good cause in mind,” Dhillon said.