Jeannine Peterson
Image: Penn State Harrisburg

Jeannine D. Peterson to deliver fall 2017 commencement address

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Jeannine D. Peterson, chief executive officer of Hamilton Health Center, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will deliver the keynote address at Penn State Harrisburg’s fall commencement Saturday, Dec. 16. The college will confer more than 730 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Peterson was appointed CEO of Hamilton Health Center in 2000 after serving on the center’s board of directors. She has been recognized locally and nationally as the visionary who led the organization out of financial insolvency to a highly effective, financially stable health center serving over 30,000 individuals annually. The center has experienced financial and patient growth each year over Peterson’s 17-year history and is now the seventh largest FQHC in Pennsylvania, and the only one to successfully establish a state-of-art medical mall for low-income, diverse populations. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Peterson relocated to Harrisburg for a position in state government and had a successful 22-year career with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that culminated with her appointment as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health by Gov. Robert P. Casey. In that position, she was responsible for public health programs including maternal-child health, communicable and preventive diseases, and substance abuse services.

Upon leaving state government, Peterson was recruited to work for a national consulting company, Johnson, Bassin, and Shaw, Inc. (JBS). She served as the deputy project director for a Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Program, where she provided consulting services to state governments around the country. In the late 1990s, Peterson left JBS to start her own business with her husband, which continues to operate today.

Peterson continues to serve on numerous corporate boards including the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, the United Way of the Capital Region, and the Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers. 

Peterson received her bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Michigan State University, and her master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in health care administration from Penn State Harrisburg. She is also a graduate of the UCLA-Johnson & Johnson health care executive management program. 

She has won numerous awards including the 2017 NAACP Community Leader Award, the 2015 YWCA Women of Distinction Legacy Award, the 2014 Chamber of Commerce/CREDC Athena Award, the 2013 Central Penn Business Journal Health Care Hero Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2012 Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2011 Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce Catalyst Award.

She is married to William Peterson and has one daughter, Kendra Peterson.