Meet Gerry Bliss

gerry bliss
Gerry Bliss, BSc ’77, BSc ’87, is the new president of the University of Victoria Alumni Association. Photo Michael Kissinger, BEd '94

The health-information expert is the new leader of the UVic Alumni Association.

Gerry Bliss, BSc ’77, BSc ’87, is the new president of the University of Victoria Alumni Association. He was in the first Health Information Science graduating class at UVic and has spent much of his life close to UVic campus. Bliss provides information governance and risk management (privacy and security) consulting services to organizations in Canada and the US. Find out more about him below.

Q: What made you want to volunteer your time to be president of the UVic Alumni Association?

GB: It was a slippery slope. Once I had staffed an event and then graduated to helping on a committee, the pleasure of connecting with fellow alumni and working with amazing volunteers and staff kept me coming back for more. So here I am.

Q: What are some of your strongest memories of your time at UVic?

GB: Riding my bicycle around campus while it was being built (yes I’m that old). Skipping high school for lunchtime rock concerts in the sixties. And being a guinea pig for a new program in the eighties. But above all, I treasure those moments crossing our campus as a student and a teacher, absorbing the beauty and spiritual energy of the place.

Q: What is one thing you’d like all people to know about protecting their health data?

GB: Trust but verify. Your well-being can depend on the accuracy and control of your personal health information. If you’re not sure what your information is being used for or who is looking at it, ask. It’s your right to know.

Q: How did the pandemic change you as a person and a health-information specialist?

GB: As a person, I’ve accumulated a huge hug deficit. I look forward to making that up.

As an informatician, the droplet/aerosol controversy reminded me that even information considered canon can be literally be dead wrong. We must be prepared to question the facts and open to correcting even the most venerable scientific thinking when the time comes.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not in a classroom or board room?

GB: Since downsizing to our cottage, I spend a lot of time working around the property. Bike and motorcycle rides are getting to be a habit. We’re starting to entertain friends and family again, plus I’ve been keeping Tanner’s [bookstore] in business, devouring my new favorite author, Walter Mosley.

Q: What type of alumni-related events or gatherings do you enjoy the most?

GB: It’s hard to choose. The accomplishments of our honorees at the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards amaze me and fill me with pride in our school, year after year. But it’s the smaller gatherings of department and program alum–watching colleagues reconnect and reminisce—that gives me the biggest kick.

Q: What are the goals for your tenure as president?

GB: I’d like to build on the outstanding work of my predecessors and continue strengthening the bonds between our 140,000 alumni around the world. Help them with building their networks with each other and their connections with UVic. That and not break anything. I’m excited about the next two years.