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Executive Director Of San Francisco Based Non-Profit Offers Sound Advice On Health Care

While technology jobs continued to outpace the rest of the local economy, another leading sector contributing to robust growth is the health care industry. Theresa Garnero, an advanced practice registered nurse, executive director of the San Francisco-based non-profit Dance Out Diabetes, author of "Your First Year with Diabetes: What to Do, Month by Month, manager at UCSF and a past recipient of National Diabetes Educator of the Year, offers valuable advice for individuals interested in working in the health care industry.

(Photo Courtesy of Theresa Garnero)

What is your current title and educational background?

"In addition to my role as practice manager for the Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes at UCSF, I'm the volunteer executive director of Dance Out Diabetes. I have a M.S. in Nursing and am a certified diabetes educator."

What other positions have you held in health care?

"I started out as a nursing assistant and discovered an amazing field of caring for people. I went on to become an EMT, driving an ambulance and acting as a first responder in Monterey. After landing a position as a certified nursing assistant in a community hospital, and subsequent transfer into ICU, I trained as a monitor technician and unit receptionist while going to nursing school. It wasn't until 10 years into my career that I stumbled upon the dynamic field of diabetes."

What advice can you offer for people interested in a career in health care?

"My advice is to ask yourself if you are a people person. Health care, and nursing in particular, is the business of people. You have to feel comfortable interacting with all walks of society and truly have the desire to do what you can in your role to ease suffering. You have to be flexible to an adapting environment since the health care landscape is changing. A career in health care means you will be a lifelong learner, which can be incredibly stressful and equally rewarding. You can bring much joy to an individual and family by partnering with those you serve to help find realistic options to maximize health and comfort."

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

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