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Meet Julia Civardi of Soteria Precision Medicine Advisory in Bankers Hill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Civardi.

Julia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My career in healthcare began after undergoing treatment for Lymphoma in 2007.

When I was diagnosed, I was struck by the myriad of treatment options and the range in the quality of care available to me. It was overwhelming, confusing, and exhausting to try to understand my cancer while trying to access the best care. I was incredibly lucky to land in the hands of my stellar UCSD Moores Cancer Center oncologists. A few months later, after a grueling yet effective treatment, I resumed life with a new perspective. My experience as a patient led me to change career paths from Finance to Healthcare. I wanted to apply what I had learned first-hand to help more people access optimal care.

For several years, I worked alongside the medical faculty at UCSD Health System, an invaluable professional experience for which I will always be grateful. My time with the doctors provided me with another perspective – the clinician’s point of view. It also gave me a better understanding of how referrals are made and how medical centers function (and dysfunction.)

In 2014, after nearly 7 years in remission, I was blind-sided by a relapse. My lymphoma came back – at least that’s what we thought. The tumor looked and felt the same as the first. It was genetic testing that revealed the second cancer was different; another type of lymphoma, completely unrelated to the first. This was invaluable information as it pointed to a treatment option that would have otherwise been overlooked. Once again, after an unpleasant yet effective treatment, I resumed life with a new perspective. I was determined to help people get the best genetic testing to inform their care.

When Craig Venter’s whole genome sequencing company, Human Longevity, hired me in 2014, it was the perfect application of my personal and professional experience – and a dream opportunity. Craig had always been a personal hero of mine. Working for him was the most challenging and rewarding professional experience of my life. I was surrounded by the world’s top scientists and technology experts, all trying to revolutionize healthcare with information. Once again, I had a new view into healthcare; specifically, how patients, doctors, and hospitals work with biotechnology companies – and how they don’t. There was a clear need for someone to fill the gaps between these parties.

Two years later, in 2016, I started Soteria Precision Medicine Advisory, Inc. “Soteria” is Greek meaning “divine protection from physical harm”. As rewarding as my professional experiences had been, nothing has given me more satisfaction than working on behalf of the patient, helping them to harness and leverage what is available to them medically and scientifically, to achieve optimally informed care. Everyone needs an angel to help them through a difficult time. Soteria provides leading-edge, patient-centered, precision medicine advisory services – saving precious time while providing peace of mind, helping people and their doctors make more informed decisions faster. At Soteria, we put the patient first.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Working for myself has been an extremely eye-opening experience. Prior to starting Soteria, I was fortunate to have some great bosses; people who I could go to for support. When you are your own boss, self-doubt is a luxury you can’t afford. When an issue arises, I have to either handle it myself or tap the most capable person in my network. This is how I have built my team. My business partners and our employees are the most intelligent, committed, creative, and inspiring people with whom I have ever worked. Our company is relatively young – we are growing quickly and sometimes awkwardly – like a teenager, there have been some growing pains, however, because I have surrounded myself with an incredible team, challenges are easier to manage.

Please tell us about Soteria Precision Medicine Advisory.
Precision medicine presents the opportunity for greatly improved healthcare outcomes. Patients and their caregivers often face a complex and unfamiliar array of options. At Soteria, we give our clients the answers and information they need to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of precision medicine, based on their individual goals — saving precious time and providing peace of mind.

Every case is different. Each patient is unique. We work closely with our clients to be their one resource – coordinating health history, current health status and immediate health needs.

Soteria works on behalf of its international clientele to: identify optimal testing and treatment options, provide context and meaning to reports and data, optimize the collection and use of biological specimens, and to facilitate communication between hospitals, research institutions, and biotechnology companies, on a global basis.

At Soteria, we put the patient first.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Going to WindnSea beach with my cousins and my family. How we survived those waves when we were so little, I’ll never know, but those days were pure joy. Being with the people I love the most, saltwater, and sunshine – there’s nothing better to this day.

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Image Credit:
Nick Abadilla

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