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Health Care COO Tells San Francisco Students To Discover Their Passion

Although an advanced degree is essential in many positions within the San Francisco healthcare industry, Scott Korney is an exception. The COO of Avellino Lab USA for nearly three years, Korney has held executive positions for more than 20 years before assuming his current position. Students interested in a healthcare administrator position will be interested to know how he got here.

(Photo Courtesy of Scott Korney)

What is your background and education?

"My professional career has focused in the biotechnology/healthcare industry. With a B.S. in Agronomy/Agricultural Engineering, the first ten years were with ARCO Plant Cell Research Institute (international think-tank in genetic engineering for agricultural applications). The next 22 years included founding a GMP/GLP contract research laboratory with subsequent roles as Director of Operations for Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer. The last three years, I served as COO with Avellino Lab USA, developing commercial lab operations, domestic and internationally. Headquartered in South Korea, labs/offices are located internationally with additional expansion plans."

What type of services does Avellino Lab USA provide?

"Avellino Lab USA in Menlo Park, California, is the first and only lab to test for visual genetic conditions called Granular Corneal Dystrophy type 1 and type 2 (GCD1, GCD2). The Company offers a DNA test for LASIK safety to ophthalmologists worldwide. This affordable genetic test provides quick diagnosis to determine if a patient has either of the GCD gene mutations. To date, nearly 500,000 individuals have received the DNA test, and of those, over 450 patients have learned they are GCD positive, ensuring protection from vision loss due to post-LASIK complications."

What career advice can you share people interested in a healthcare career?

"Although an advanced degree is essential in most fields of healthcare, I managed to work my way up. My experience is an exception to the rule, but through passion, integrity, strong organizational and people skills, and my dedication to working late nights and weekends, I've earned a reputation as a highly productive leader, mentor with recognized business success. Juggling both my professional and family life, I also make it my priority to give back to the community. Discover your passion and take it on 150%. The rest will come to you."

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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