“We help people in the community in so many different ways.”
If there's one familiar face around the clinic, it's Robert Trezia. As clinic business/intake manager, he oversees the staff at the information desk, billing and radiology departments, emergency area and the CARE clinic. This wasn't something Robert expected when he started working as a temporary employee in radiology back in 1995, nor did he anticipate staying for 13 years.
"It's very nice to work here because we help people in the community in so many different ways," says Robert. "It's true we are here for our students. But at the end of the day, while they're getting their education, this is also a place where people of all incomes can receive treatment."
Born in Iran and raised in Sydney, Australia, Robert's passion for people is one of the reasons he has stayed at Pacific for more than a decade. It's also the reason he pursued a career in health care after earning a business degree from San Diego State University in 1980.
"A degree is great, but you have to find out on your own what it is you like to do and that usually takes time," said Robert.
His professional experiences range from working as a paralegal at a law firm to holding different types of management positions in the retail industry. However, Robert felt the need for a change and since health care had always been an interest for him, he decided to take a job at the dental school. He started working as a receptionist in radiology, then became emergency coordinator, and eventually landed his current position as manager.
Robert is one of those individuals who enjoy a challenge, and he feels fulfilled in that area under the leadership of associate dean for clinical services, Dr. Richard Fredekind. Being able to work with Dr. Fredekind, as well as learning from his everyday interactions with staff, faculty and patients is another reason for Robert's longevity at the dental school.
"My favorite part about working here are the patients," says Robert. "I love the fact that we can actually do something for them. Everything else becomes secondary to me."
His interactions with the patients don't just stop at the clinic door. Robert runs into the patients on the streets of San Francisco where they frequently greet him with a smile. For Robert, working for a non-profit organization and helping those in need makes his job worthwhile.