Penny Pilgram George has been a leader in the national movement toward whole-person health and wellbeing for more than two decades. Drawing from her career as a consulting psychologist and now as a philanthropist – galvanized by her experience healing from breast cancer – Penny works to shift consciousness toward the reality that people are connected in mind, body, and spirit with immense self-healing capacities. She believes each person should be equipped and empowered to be the primary agent of their own health.
Since 1998 she has chaired the George Family Foundation that she created with her husband Bill. Its mission is to foster wholeness in mind, body, spirit and community by developing authentic leaders and supporting transformative programs serving the common good.
In 2002 she co-founded the Bravewell Collaborative, an engaged group of visionary individuals and foundations from around the U.S. focused on transforming medicine to treat the whole human being. In 2005, her advocacy for whole-person care at Allina Health in Minnesota led to the creation of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing. In 2014 Penny led the George Family Foundation to create the Catalyst Initiative in Minnesota, providing funding for grassroots organizations healing trauma in their communities through culturally authentic mind-body healing practices.
Most recently, she has been partnering with the YMCA of the North as they offer wellbeing services and develop innovative programming across all Y activities at its 27 sites, with the potential to model and export the wellbeing programming to YMCAs throughout the country.
Her other passion is supporting the advancement of women and girls, funding for which is a through line across all the foundation’s focus areas.
Photo by Sandra Julian