Theresa Garcia has a unique 360-degree perspective on how JDCH is influential in the South Florida region.
In her current position as Physician Coordinator for the Business Development and Physician Relations Department at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, she works to promote JDCH physicians, build brand trust and partnerships with local businesses, establish a physician referral base, and educate the public about the services that JDCH provides.
Previously, though, she spent 15 years as the JDCH Community Specialist in the Community Relations Department, out front and center promoting brand awareness and organizing events.
She planned and hosted more than 200 events per year. She coordinated volunteers and staff to connect with the community on a grassroots level. She has worked closely with several organizations, including the Safe Kids Coalition, DCH Miracle League, Supermoms of Broward, Harvest Drive and the March of Dimes.
She’s a graduate of Leadership Hollywood XXVIIII, Leadership Boca, HLCP and the FIU Leadership Bootcamp program. She also served as Chair for the Dania Beach Chamber and is currently active in several Chambers of Commerce.
“Business Development and Community Relations both concentrate on outreach efforts,” says Theresa. “I really have to foster relationships with community folks — those in the community who are making a difference in the lives of kids and families. It’s good to partner and organize events, but it’s essential when the people you partner with trust you. The only way to build trust is to spend time with people. I embrace those opportunities. Now I’m able to utilize that experience to enhance business and physician relationships.”
Theresa was born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, NY. She came down in the summer of 1988 to help her family move, with the intention of returning to New York after they were settled. However, plans changed when she met a wonderful guy and married him three years later. They reside in Hollywood with their three sons and one granddaughter.
With just one year of college completed, she landed a “phenomenal job” with a third-party administrator and learned the health insurance business. The company closed 15 years later, but a friend steered Theresa to Memorial, where she’s made quite a creative impact. For one, she’s the brains behind the JDCH mascot. She also started a trend of individualizing Memorial branded t-shirts.
“I really didn’t like wearing t-shirts, but in my previous role I had to constantly wear branded t-shirts for events. I became infamous for repurposing and redesigning them. People would ask me to do the same with their t-shirts. I would fringe it, bead it, bedazzle it, cut off that annoying collar and make it scooped, V-neck, or cold-shoulder. They call me the Joe DiMaggio guru,” she says.
Style guru Theresa just graduated with her associate of arts degree, thanks to the Memorial Education Assistance Program, and will continue to complete her bachelor’s degree. She is thriving at work and at home, and despite her initial plans, Florida has been better than good to this born-and-bred New Yorker.