Generational comfort. We all have it. That special connection where we recognize terminology, technology, and tunes. Kindred spirits even with relative strangers because, at our core, we’ve all grown up together.

From our cocoon of comfort, we critique other generations. Those who compose the following generation are strange, with far different values, priorities, and certainly work ethic. Heaven help the future of our world!

Or so I thought. At the age of 65, it was time to turn over the management of my company to a younger generation. The pain was excruciating. I accepted the fact that nobody would love my patients as much as I did. No one would live this healthcare business 24/7. There would never be a more tenacious advocate. But there was a reality to face.

For the business to have a future, a millennial would need to be considered, ugh. So, the plunge was taken and a “child” was handed the reins. An age difference of more than thirty years existed between the two of us and our management styles could not have been more divergent.  

Catherine was chosen as the person with an unknown potential. She didn’t place a high value on my old age and experience. I was terrified of what the future held but clearly acknowledged that I needed her. As the best candidate, we moved forward with respect and caution.

More than four years have passed and the evolution of my cherished business continues; a transformation that is beyond my wildest dreams. Under the skillful leadership and emotional maturity of this young woman, I continue to sit back and marvel.

Yes, Catherine allows staff the time needed to nurture their personal lives, allowing their families to come first. No, she doesn’t require new staff to drink from the firehose of learning. Instead, she observes for skill deficits and provides the needed support. And, yes, she even took off maternity leave when she had a baby. One more yes; “my” patients have become “our” patients. All things I once believed to be unimaginable.  

This millennial has assembled a team that is committed for the long haul, supportive of each other and our precious patients. She holds meetings that devote the time needed to slice and dice the details of operations. What are the problems and what steps must be constructed to form the needed foundation? There is energy and intelligence and patience and a profound moral compass. I feast my eyes on this masterpiece of resilience. Young enough to learn and grow. Mature enough to prove that age is merely a number. Strong enough to safeguard the decades ahead.

This is our future. This is where hope flourishes. Thank you, Catherine Vergara.

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