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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on April 19, 2018

Tidelands Health receives $1M donation, largest ever from private individuals

A couple from Washington state has donated $1 million to Tidelands Health, the largest gift from private individuals ever received by the health system.

Donors Joe and Denise Harris, of Bellingham, Washington, have strong ties to the Georgetown community and plan to move to the region in the future. Joe Harris is founder, chairman and CEO of geoLOGIC systems ltd., a company that provides innovative data and software solutions to private companies, regulatory agencies and other organizations involved in the oil and gas industry.

In recognition of the couple’s generous donation, Tidelands Health will name a new facility on the campus of Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital in their honor. Construction of the Harris Center for Specialty Care, which will bring Joe and Denise Harris with representatives from Tidelands Healthtogether multiple physician offices and specialties, will begin later this year.

“We are extremely grateful to Joe and Denise Harris for this gift, which provides important funding we’ll use to strengthen health and wellness within the community,” said Bruce Bailey, president and CEO of Tidelands Health. “Since our health system’s inception, we have been blessed to benefit from strong private support, and the donation by Mr. and Mrs. Harris is an historic continuation of that tradition.”

Added M.P. “Squeaky” Swenson, chair of the Tidelands Health Foundation, “The significance of the Harris family’s gift cannot be overstated. It will leave a lasting mark on the health and wellness of our region.”

Joe Harris said he and his wife are proud to support the healing mission of Tidelands Health.

“A few years ago, Denise and I were both afflicted with cancer while residing in our ‘winter home’ here in Georgetown,” he said. “ We assumed it would be necessary to go elsewhere for treatment, but instead we found that the services provided by Tidelands Health are both excellent and comprehensive.

“For this, of course, we are most gratified. Paying back or, as is popular these days, ‘paying forward’ seemed an easy course to follow when we considered our contribution to Tidelands Health.”

Joe Harris is an accomplished petroleum geologist and entrepreneur who was among the first to recognize and apply the potential of early computer systems to the field.

The software systems he developed are used across the world by geologists and organizations involved in the oil and gas industry, including oil and gas exploration and production companies, government and regulatory agencies, educational institutions and more.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in our region - with three hospitals and more than 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Hemingway to North Myrtle Beach. At Tidelands Health, we are anchored by our mission to help people live better lives through better health.