HomeDesert InsiderFeatured Resident: Dana Calo

Featured Resident: Dana Calo

Dana Calo has dedicated her life to helping others feel better – both physically and mentally. Working in healthcare, she’s seen firsthand the effect that mental health has on physical health. It’s no surprise, since Dana’s family dynamic was full of love and laughter. Dana describes it as “a constant comedy routine” where her parents and three siblings had ongoing family jokes.

Dana brought this unique combination of compassion and lighthearted fun into a career in healthcare – a lifelong dream. She began working as a healthcare professional, and in 1975 moved more towards the administrative side of the industry. Some of her jobs saw her helping people in physio and rehab clinics, where patients appreciated her warm, caring, and fun personality.

Dana loved helping people get better, with a little bit of joy along the way. She’d witnessed doctors’ compassion and determination, and saw patients overcome illnesses, cancer, injuries, and even mental health crises. Her early work inspired her, and she committed herself to helping people.

In 2013, Dana started an exciting new journey in both her life and career.  She wanted to move from Maryland to a retirement community in California to be closer to her daughter and grandkids, and after 8 years in San Diego, Dana fell in love with her now-home in Sun City Shadow Hills. Not only was she near family, but she was far from the snow and ice storms of the East Coast. Dana loves having a garage and a yard, and space to decorate and repair furniture. She also enjoys the lovely California weather, perfect for golfing.

This move to California also had a massive impact on her career, when she began working with plastic surgeon Dr. Eko as a Health Care Administrator. Dr. Eko and his team focus on the necessity of reconstructive surgery as well as the the aesthetic aspect. There, Dana has worked with cancer patients, people who have faced serious injuries or trauma that left them disfigured, and people who have transformed their lives through diet and fitness but want to reveal their hard work by removing excess skin. Working there has really helped Dana help people feel better both inside and out. 

“People see plastic surgery as just cosmetic, but its much more than that,” Dana says, “It’s about freedom, movement, happiness, and continuing a normal life.” Dana recognizes that there is still a misconception and stigma about cosmetic surgery being pure vanity, but she stresses the importance of boosting self-esteem, confidence, and resetting a path for positive mental health.

Patients who had cancer, injuries, or scarring that can be corrected will often regain confidence. “When people have these issues weighing on their mind every day, it can keep them from being their best,” Dana says. In particular, people who have undergone chemotherapy to treat breast cancer can experience heavy physical and mental strain. They can be depressed about the way they look, and want to feel normal again. “We usually see people at the end of their exhaustive process to regain their pre-cancer life,” Dana says, “I have heard patients whooping and hollering because they are so happy!”

Dana’s proud to have helped so many people feel better about themselves and take steps to lead normal lives when they had previously thought it wasn’t possible.

“Self-esteem is everything,” Dana says, “At every stage of life!”

For more information about the sort of work Dana helps with at Eko Plastic Surgery, visit their website at www.ekoplasticsurgery.com or call (760) 237-2223. Dana is offering her fellow residents of the Sun City a 10% off a procedure!



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