40 Under 40

Eliza Warren Giberson

Maine Medical Center
Portland, Maine

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

  • Eliza successfully secured $1.6 million for the medical center, including leading initiatives to secure a $500,000 gift to create a new endowed fund, as well as over $1.25 million in endowed scholarships for Maine students attending medical school as a part of the Tufts University School of Medicine-Maine Medical Center "Maine Track" Progam
  • She serves as the VP of the Board of Miss Di's Closet in Portland, ME-a grassroots nonprofit focused on providing children and youth facing adversity with clothing and other basic needs to support their education and positively impact their wellbeing
  • In addition to several promotions within the department, Eliza's role now encompasses specialized work with clinical partners throughout the medical center, including serving as the philanthropy liaison for Oncology, Women's Health, and Urology service lines

Q & A

1. How did you get into healthcare philanthropy?

When I joined Maine Medical Center in 2014, I was interested in pursuing philanthropy work where I was able to impact the health and wellness of my community in meaningful ways and support a mission I truly believed in and connected with. I started in an administrative and events management capacity with MMC’s leadership gifts team, which was a fantastic way to get to know the unique role philanthropy plays within the healthcare system. Working closely with the frontline fundraisers on our team also inspired me to pursue my own path toward direct work with leadership level donors and community members.

2. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

A pivotal point for me was when I began supporting the efforts of Maine Medical Center’s Cancer Institute as a community-facing fundraiser. The opportunity to work with world-class clinical leaders in the oncology field was exciting, and it was a privilege to build meaningful relationships with grateful patients and their families looking to partner through philanthropy. Having lost my own mother to brain cancer, this was not only a new and interesting career opportunity, but also a personal passion project to help address the needs of cancer patients and families here in Maine and Northern New England.

3. What piece of advice would you give aspiring 40 Under 40 recipients?

My advice would be to bring compassion and empathy to your work. The most meaningful moments in my career thus far have been when I lead with consideration for someone else’s experience before my own. I have ultimately found that I’m most successful when I’m able to better understand the values as well as the goals of someone I’m collaborating with whether it’s an individual donor, business, clinical partner, volunteer, or colleague. 

Fun Fact:

My first job was as a mascot called the “Trash Monster” at The Portland Sea Dogs, our local AA affiliate baseball team for the Boston Red Sox. It was a very unique experience and a fun way to see a lot of home games for a summer in high school—and learn how to work very hard!