Connecting our world at UW Medicine

Charlotte Guyman and Julie Nordstrom: On a mission to change the world

Charlotte Guyman and Julie Nordstrom believe that we can do it. They believe that we can find cures. That we can improve the health of the public. That we can lift up future generations to make the world a better place. After all, it’s what they’ve been working so hard for these past two-plus decades.

As longtime volunteers on both the regional and national level, Guyman and Nordstrom have made it their mission to advance medicine, address global health disparities and help disadvantaged populations. Collectively, they’ve chaired or held local board positions at UW Medicine, Brotman Baty Institute, UW Department of Global Health and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. They’re also members of UW Medicine’s Campaign Initiative Committee, the key volunteer leadership group of the Accelerate fundraising campaign, which surpassed its original $2 billion goal 18 months early.

The outcome? Profound results: a modernized surgery pavilion at University of Washington Medical Center, a collaborative new university department dedicated to addressing global health issues, and $1.6 million raised in just one evening to support Harborview Medical Center’s mission of serving the most vulnerable members of our community.

These achievements are just a few of the reasons why Puget Sound Business Journal selected Guyman and Nordstrom — along with 14 other influential women in the region’s business community — as 2019 Women of Influence honorees.

“Seattle is filled with people who work hard on behalf of our city and region,” Nordstrom says. “To be included with this extraordinary group of women this year is truly an honor.”

Charlotte Guyman: Carrying on a tradition of service

Life takes you to some surprising places, so it’s what you do when you get there that matters most. Just ask Charlotte Guyman.

After graduating from the University of Washington in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology, Guyman wound up forging her own path in a different industry: technology. Following a stint at Hewlett-Packard, a return trip to UW to get her MBA and a 12-year career at Microsoft, she’s now an independent director at the third-largest public company in the world, Berkshire Hathaway.

 

“The Northwest is home to so many innovative, compassionate and brilliant women,” Guyman says. “I feel as if I am carrying on the mantle of a tradition of service — women working to give back to the community and each other.”

 

For Guyman, that tradition of service has meant supporting local arts organizations and landmarks as director of the Space Needle/Chihuly Garden and Glass Corporation. It’s meant fighting for the future of children around the world as Save the Children’s U.S. programs committee chair. It’s meant working to improve regional healthcare as a UW Medicine board member for a decade, seeing us through everything from the Medicare compliance case in 2005 to the construction of UW Medical Center’s surgery pavilion in 2007 to the earliest phases of our new South Lake Union expansion in 2010.

But Guyman isn’t content to let meaningful contributions end with her. She wants to inspire young women to make an impact in whatever ways they can.

“Whenever possible, work with people who you admire and then learn from them and put your energy into quality institutions, like UW Medicine,” she says. “And when in a position to lift up others, do so.”

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Julie Nordstrom: Leaving the world a better place

When Julie Nordstrom was an undergrad studying political science at the University of Washington, her goal was to make it to law school. Little did she know, she’d accomplish that — and then some.

After earning her law degree from Seattle University — formerly the University of Puget Sound School of Law — Nordstrom went on to practice construction law at Stafford, Frey, Cooper and Stewart before switching to pro bono work while she and her husband raised their three children.

Today, she’s a highly active community volunteer and mentor, with a special interest in improving the lives of the underserved, supporting cancer research and advancing healthcare at home and around the globe. In other words, she wants to leave the world a better place than she found it.

Nordstrom’s efforts to do just that led her to take up leadership positions at Seattle Children’s Home, Child Haven, Save the Children and Ethical Apparel Africa Foundation. She’s also steadfastly supported UW Medicine and all that we do to serve the Pacific Northwest community.

In 2012, she co-chaired UW Medicine’s Salute to Harborview Gala, raising more than $1.6 million for the Harborview Mission of Caring Fund to ensure every patient receives care regardless of their ability to pay. She also helped launch a new, interdisciplinary department devoted to addressing the world’s most pressing global health issues.

Currently, she’s overseeing the Northwest Hospital integration as board chair of UW Medical Center, supporting the mission as a board member of UW Medicine and advancing public health as co-founding chair of the UW Department of Global Health Leadership Council and board member of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

 

“I’m always proud to represent UW Medicine because of the mission and the people,” Nordstrom says. “The doctors, nurses, researchers and so many others work every day to improve the health of our community and beyond.”

 

Throughout all this, Nordstrom has advocated for women to have stronger representation in leadership and management roles, and she hopes getting involved will inspire the next generation of world-changers.

“There are many organizations doing good work in our community, and it’s important to find something that is meaningful to you,” Nordstrom says. “The more you care about the mission, the more rewarding your engagement will likely be. For me personally, the more I engaged, the more I got out of it and, hopefully, the more effective I became.”

 

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