Catherine Garzio, Administrator UCSF
Past President, WHCE
I choose to be a member because…. I was new in my career in the mid 1980’s when WHCE first began; it was a comfortable place to meet more experienced health care managers and experts, and in many ways, WHCE and I have ‘grown up’ together. I have served on the Board and as Board President, and I have maintained many contacts I made early on at WHCE throughout my career.
“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: It’s important to maintain perspective. I try to have a sense of humor and to remember that my work is what I do, it’s not who I am.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? I would have liked to be a doctor – not sure my chemistry teachers would agree!
Did you play sports in high school or did you participate in student government? I was on the swim team, but mainly I worked nearly full time – had to earn money for college, first in my family to go.
What were your most recent favorite book and / or movie? The Help by Katherine Stockett was my favorite book and The King’s Speech my favorite movie. I hear The Help will be made into a movie – the best of both worlds!
Where were you born?
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? Hillary Clinton
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Italy, but I have a home at
Lake Tahoeand love the mountains in every season
Why do you work in healthcare? I had vague reasons earlier in my career; until I came to work at UCSF. Now I am so proud to be part of the mission of Advancing Health Worldwide. As an administrator, I like making it easier for doctors and scientists to take great care of patients, make discoveries that advance the field, and educate others to be exceptional doctors and scientists. I have also found health care a good industry for a working mother, and I have enjoyed mentoring others and building terrific teams over the years.
Kim Nguyen-Gallagher, Principal, KNG Communications
Past Programs Co-Chair, WHCE
I chose to be a member because…. Four words: Fabulous women, great programs!
“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: Life is short. Be true to your personal and professional values. This will enable you to live with integrity and without regret.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? I could see myself as a chef and restaurateur. Having failed at that dream, I am content to read books by food critics and chefs and eat at great restaurants -- both the hole in the wall variety and more upscale establishments.
Did you play sports in high school or did you participate in student government? I played softball and volleyball in high school and was senior class president. That was many, many, years ago and I never would have run for senior class president if I would’ve known that I’d forever be involved in planning reunions!
What was your most recent favorite book and or movie? I enjoyed reading Eat. Pray. Love. (I haven’t seen the movie.) And I was very fond of How To Train Your Dragon.
Where were you born? Albuquerque, New Mexico
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? My spiritual answer would be Thich Nhat Hanh. My Giants fan answer would be Brian Wilson.
What is your favorite vacation spot? I’d love to go back to Rancho la Puerto Spa in Tecate, Mexico.
Lynn Dowling, and Principal, Dowling Associates
Past President, WHCE
I choose to be a member because….I was new to the area. I wanted to hang out with smart women who I could both learn from and become friends with.
“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: Seemingly great opportunities can turn out to be traps and unfortunate ones can turn out to be blessings.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Theatrical director.
What was your favorite book/movie last year? The best movie I saw was “September Issue” a documentary about Vogue Magazine. The best book I read was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society. I bought three more copies to give as holiday gifts.
Where were you born? In the south suburbs of Chicago, Park Forest.
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? Believe it or not it would be Isaac Newton. Many consider him the most important scientist that ever lived but he wrote more about spirituality than he did about science and he also practiced alchemy.
What is your favorite vacation spot? So hard to choose as I like Tahoe and Hawaii like everyone else. But I have to say the place I most enjoyed visiting was Barcelona Spain. I could live there in a heartbeat.
Temisan Amoruwa, Project Manager Sutter Medical Network
Scholarship Co-Chair for 2012-13, Past Secretary, WHCE
I choose to be a member because…. I wanted to be able to meet and network with women outside of my work circle. As an early careerist, it’s important for me to establish relationships with people whom I can learn from, and can help me develop into a strong leader.
“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: You always miss 100% shots that you never take.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Wedding/Event Planning..yes, I know, it’s definitely far from the healthcare field.
Did you play sports in high school or did you participate in student government? Yes, both. I ran track and cross country in high school, and was part of the student body both my junior and senior years.
What was your favorite book/movie last year? …Ooooh, this is a great one, but as for movies, I’d have to say Inception. I am currently reading the third book in the trilogy of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo. It’s absolutely mind gripping!
Where were you born? El Monte, California
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? President Obama.
What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere where there is a beautiful beach and calming waters.
Karen Rago, RN, MPA, FAAMA, FACCA, University of California San Francisco Medical Center. Executive Director of Service Line Administration
Past Scholarship Co-Chair, WHCE
I choose to be a member because…. I have the opportunity to connect with other women health care executives and to be able to make an impact through my role as co-chair of the Scholarship Committee.
"Pearl of Wisdom" to share about life or work: Take your job seriously and yourself lightly.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Owner of a Knitting shop or Flower Shop.
Did you play sports in high school? I was on the Varsity Gymnastics and Swimming/Diving Team. I also played one year Lacrosse back in the late 1960’s.
What was your favorite recent movie? Julia and Julie!
Where were you born? Allentown, Pennsylvania. The same place in Billy Joel’s song, Allentown!
What is your favorite vacation spot? A tropical island with sunny beach where I can go scuba diving.
Robin O’Connor, California Pacific Medical Center, Marketing Manager
Past Communications and Marketing Co-Chair 2011-12, WHCE
I Choose to be a Member Because… When my daughter went away to college I wanted to do more with for my community and for myself. A colleague suggested I join WHCE and shortly after that I volunteered to be on the board as Communications and Marketing Co-chair. I have gained a wealth of knowledge, made valuable contacts, and had the opportunity to meet women who are truly experts in their professional fields.“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: Pick your battles.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? I think I would have loved to be a fashion designer.
What was your most recent favorite book and or movie? I really enjoy reading fiction. I highly recommend two books: The Help and Shanghi Girls.
Where were you born? I was born in Lodi California and grew up on a farm. My father grew grapes, peaches and cherries.
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? I would love to have dinner with Madeleine Albright.
What is your favorite vacation spot? If not shopping in New York City, I would be on the beach in Mexico.
Angela Lu, Senior Operations Analyst at Palo Alto Medical Foundation
Past Program Co-Chair, WHCE
I chose to be a member because….
WHCE provides a great opportunity to network with a diverse group of women outside the immediate work circle to support and share knowledge and passion for health care. If I ever have any questions or simply need advice, I know there are answers in the group.
“Pearl of Wisdom” to share about life or work: Trust and respect is the foundation of any relationship. If trust and respect do not exist, nothing can be accomplished.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Hotel Management. I love to travel; it would be awesome traveling around the globe and planning hotel openings.
Did you play sports in high school or did you participate in student government? I played tennis and played flute in the marching band.
What was your favorite book/movie last year? Book: Eat, Pray, Love; Movie: Any romantic comedy!
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? Indra K. Nooyi - CEO at Pepsi. Indra was born and raise in India, and with her sheer strength and courage, she became one of the top female executive in the United States.
What is your favorite vacation spot? It’s difficult to answer just one spot: Bora Bora or Glenorchy, New Zealand
Kimberly Werninghaus Blair, Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center, Assistant Medical Group Administrator.
Past WHCE President
I chose to be a member because….I relocated to the Bay Area from the East Coast 6 years ago. When I came here, I knew no one professionally. My goal was to find an organization of health care professionals with whom I could network and learn. A work colleague at the time (who is now also a current board member) suggested I look at WHCE and invited me to attend a program with her. That one encounter was all it took for me to be hooked.
"Pearl of Wisdom" to share about life or work: I consider myself to be a values driven leader. For me, integrity and humanity matter tremendously. I seek to be the kind of person that people can approach, who is considered fair, and who people can trust to do what I say I will.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Law (I got accepted to law school, and then declined to attend); or Community Development.
Did you play sports in high school or did you participate in student government? I participated in student government 3 out of 4 years in high school, in college, and in graduate school.
What was your most recent favorite book/movie? Books & movies? I assume you mean adult stuff, right? What is that to the mom of an active 3 year old?!
Where were you born? Chicago, Illinois (and, I really mean the city)
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? There are many. One would certainly be Faye Wattleton – former President of Planned Parenthood. She is one of the most passionate and articulate women I have ever had the honor to hear speak. She’s also in great shape – and given that she is older than me by a fair amount, she is a role model in that regard.
Tina Weiss, Senior Manager, Product Strategy, Research and Development at Blue Shield of California, San Francisco, California
Past Secretary, WHCE
I choose to be a member because… I like meeting women that inspire me.
"Pearl of Wisdom" to share about life or work: If it seems too easy, you’re probably not doing it right.
What profession other than your own would you like to have attempted? Stock trader.
What was your most recent favorite book or movie: Book: The Reader. Movie: The Hangover.
Where were you born? Roseville, CA
If you could have dinner/coffee with anyone, who would that be? George Washington. (if you read "John Adams" it talks about how everyone knew George would be the first president – what was it about him that made it inevitable?).
What is your favorite vacation spot? When I want to relax, it’s at the beach. Practically any beach will do.
Ann Fyfe, Vice President, Business Development and Marketing El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA
Past President, WHCE
How long have you been a WHCE member: 8 years (and former WHCE President)
I choose to be a member because… I love coming together as women executives, but what I enjoy most is mentoring the next generation. I like talking with other women executives about the industry I love. I’ve been working in my field for 35 years and when I first started, hospital marketing was unknown.
Education: I have bachelors in Journalism, Radio and TV from the University of Colorado. I started my career in television, and then opened my own ad agency. One of my first clients was Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Why I work in health care: It’s never boring. I enjoy using the science and discipline of business to make a difference in people’s lives. Health care is so fascinating; it has completely changed in the last 30 years. To see the breakthroughs, to live through all the advances at both academic and community hospitals, to be a part of it is truly a gift.
Pearl of Wisdom: Whenever you think you know it all, you’re obviously missing something.
I’m passionate about… Not letting work totally take over my life. If you are off-balance in life, you will lose something.
What I do for fun: Hiking and skiing. But mostly, being with the people I love, my husband, friends and children. Favorite quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi and “The secret to life is to enjoy the passage of time,” James Taylor.