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Perpetua M. Gaiter and the Helping Hands of a Thomasian Nurse

Posted on: October 24th, 2016 by UST Alumni Relations



Ms. Perpetua Maddela-Gaiter, RN, BSN, OCN, believes that taking care of others is the best way to serve and give back to the community. “As a Thomasian, I try to follow the simple value of serving others, which I think is well demonstrated by my love of my profession as a nurse,” she said. She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (UST)-College of Nursing in 1979 and passed the Philippine Nursing Licensure Examination in the same year. According to her, it is in the University where she developed her passion for serving and taking care of others.


“UST helped me to understand what true passion means when it comes to helping others,” she shared. “My most significant experience as a Thomasian student is the clinical aspect of the nursing school curriculum, where I was able to literally take care of patients, attend to their needs and provide [them] comfort.”

It was her mother, she said, who encouraged her to take up Nursing.

“I had no idea what I wanted to take after high school, so my mother suggested the nursing profession, since we have relatives who are nurses,” she said. “I never realized that I would love the profession and love the idea of taking care of the sick. I guess

"Mother knows best."

Ms. Gaiter first worked as an Intensive/Critical Care Unit Nurse at the Cardinal Santos Memorial Hospital in Makati, one of the pioneer hospitals to perform open heart surgeries in the country, from 1979 to 1983. Eventually, she decided to pursue her career in the United States in 1983 and became a Chemotherapy Nurse at the Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC for more than 13 years. She won several awards in recognition of her positive demeanor, dependability and productivity, and was commended by the hospital for her outstanding performance.


In the year 2000, Ms. Gaiter transferred to Washington Hospital Center’s Cancer Institute-Infusion Center, where she studied and earned her title as a Certified Oncology Nurse, and worked there for around 10 years. She also concurrently worked for almost two years at Inova Fairfax Hospital from 2008 to 2010. She was involved in assisting the quality control level of care at their Medical Oncology Unit. Ms. Gaiter was a member of American Nursing Association and is a member of Oncology Nursing Society.


At present Ms. Gaiter is working at the Thomas Gaiter Foundation as a nurse, director and board member.

Ms. Gaiter is married to Dr. Thomas Gaiter for 20 years now and has two children, Diana and Sarah. They run together the Thomas Gaiter Foundation, which is a non profit organization dedicated to the education and health of all people. Our contribution to the well being and education of mankind involves providing assistance and support to financially challenged students to acquire a quality education. Furthermore, the foundation extends it's support to communities to help improve their quality of health. The foundation also started a scholarship in the UST College of Nursing.


For more information about the foundation, you may go to this link:

Ms. Gaiter advised her successors in the field of nursing to always keep their desire and passion in advocating good health.

and to have a deep desire to teach, communicate and be an advocate in achieving good health,” she said. 

By:  Lord Bien G. Lelay

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