Garry Olney, RN, BSN, MBA
Garry Olney didn't start out on the business side of health care even though he's now chief executive officer of the San Dimas Community Hospital in San Dimas, Calif.
First, he attended nursing school in Toledo at the Medical College of Ohio and Toledo University. After graduation, Garry's career path carried him from neonatal nurse to emergency room nurse to chief nursing officer to hospital CEO.
Garry decided to pursue the corporate side of health care when he realized he was learning management skills in his leadership positions as a nurse. As a result, he decided to pursue an MBA, which he received in 1987 from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas.
Garry knew that the advanced degree, combined with his nursing background, would enable him to make the best clinical and financial decisions for health care organizations. Since 1988, he has held various upper-management positions in several hospitals. He also was recently named the commissioner of the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV Health Services.
Despite his growing corporate success, Garry hasn't forgotten his nursing roots.
He believes in encouraging more males to pursue a career in nursing. Garry remembers feeling afraid to tell his father about his initial choice in profession as a result of nursing stereotypes. It shouldn't be that way, he said.
"You shouldn't have to hide what profession you want to go into," Garry said. "I'm trying to change the image of nursing, especially for men."
Garry is one of the nurses featured in an advertising campaign for Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow. He is a member the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, and the Healthcare Association of Southern California.