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Member Spotlight: Jeff Peery

He is not a nurse, yet his understanding of healthcare and medical needs is unique.

            “While I would not attempt to change a CVAD (central venous access device) dressing on a patient, I am confident writing about the steps needed to protect a catheter site from the risk of infection,” said Jeff L. Peery, public relations manager for the Brigham Young University College of Nursing.

            “I may also write about new blood pressure reading guidelines, a faculty member research project on anemia rates in children in Ecuador or the recipe for making fake vomit in the nursing simulation lab.”

            Note: in case you’re wondering about the latter, it involves oatmeal, split pea soup, and vinegar.

            Peery, a product of the BYU School of Communications (BS ’94), oversees the college’s communications, marketing and alumni relations. Part of his responsibilities include being the editor of a magazine, developing alumni special events and managing the media efforts of the college.

            “Most people do not have their homework published, ” says Peery. “The exception is with PR practitioners. I produce a 28-page magazine every six months and end up writing two-dozen of the pages myself. I know what the dean would say in her message if she had the time to produce it herself.”

            He supervises four student employees to support his efforts in developing content for the college blog, social media channels and videography. Most of the students use this opportunity to gain working experience as an internship for their PR, film or English classes.

            “My advice to students is to find a professional that will assist them as a mentor if asked; someone to share life hacks, review their résumé or portfolio, and offer career insight.”

            Since joining the college in 2013, Peery has developed seven unique events for nursing alumni. One activity produced each semester is a speed luncheon where 32 alumni meet with 64 capstone students to discuss post-graduation plans. Similar to a speed dating gathering, the alumni change tables every 12 minutes to meet additional students. They also eat a portion of their meal at each rotation (cup of grapes, chips, sandwich, BYU brownie).

            “When it comes to networking [at this type of event] it is not about the food,” says Peery. “That is only a mechanism for socialization. The most important thing is understanding who is in the room and how do you meet them.”

            He wants members of the nursing alumni association to understand they are part of something bigger than just an organization looking for a monetary donation each year.

            “I want alumni to feel like they are part of a family. If someone is moving to St. Louis, I will help them connect with alumni in the area to learn the best places to live and work. The ability to establish a relationship to interact and ask for help amongst peers is rewarding.”

            Peery is the current president-elect officer for the Utah Valley PRSA Chapter and coordinates the chapter luncheon speakers (third Wednesday of each month). In April 2018, he will complete his APR certification (accreditated in public relations) and begin the process to apply to the College of Fellows, an honorary organization within PRSA comprised of more than 350 senior practitioners and educators, each of whom has left a footprint on the public relations profession.

            His corporate PR experience also includes serving as a communications liaison to Microsoft while working at Certiport and supporting marketing and fundraising efforts of several non-profit organizations.

            Two highlights of his career include being recognized by Second Lady of the United States Tipper Gore for his efforts as a PR student to reduce the stigma of mental illness (also received the Bradley Agency Account Executive of the Year award in 1994), as well as having a press release published in Business Week magazine shortly after starting his first job.

            Peery currently lives in Spanish Fork where he serves on the city’s library board and volunteers with various community projects to support their communication needs.

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