Case I: Chapter 8: La Vida Aureo

Case I: Chapter 8: La Vida Aureo

“Let me give you a brief history of this facility, its ownership and why it is unique. I’ll also talk to you about my background and how I came to be involved as Executive Director.”

La Vida Aureo is privately owned, funded by a large endowment from a prominent Albuquerque family. Are you familiar with the Jaramillo family? They were among the first families to settle in this area with a large land grant tract along the Rio Grande. As the city grew and the land became more valuable, developers and city officials approached the Jaramillo family to sell portions of their land. Unlike many of the poor famers in the northern part of the state, the Jaramillo family did not sell their land outright. With each individual parcel they sold, they received not only a fair value for the land, but a sizeable ownership interest in whatever enterprise bought the land. Over the years, they became extremely wealthy with a highly diversified “portfolio” of business interests while retaining significant acreage of valuable land.”

“About five years ago, Maria Varela Jaramillo Montoya, the current matriarch of the family saw the need to provide healthcare for an aging population. La Doña Jaramillo is really a very modern woman and somewhat unique in her native culture. She remains a deeply religious woman, but recognized the need for a professional approach to care for people as they aged. She remained concerned about the increasing prevalence of degenerative illness and envisioned a facility that could provide a progressive level of care. An astute business woman, she was able to “trade” for this very valuable piece of real estate to make her vision a reality. She then established a large endowment to ensure its future.”

“I met La Doña Jaramillo at church, Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows, near Old Town. As usual, she had done her homework and approached me through Father Michael, one of the young priests in the parish. She had taken Father Michael into her confidence to discuss her vision for this facility. The older priests tried to discourage her, saying that people should rely on prayer to deal with the troubles of aging. If a person had been faithful to God throughout his or her life, God would not punish them as they aged. Jaramillo had seen too many of her aging friends suffer despite having lived a very religious life. Father Michael listened as she described her vision for this facility and agreed with her. He suggested that she talk to me about becoming Executive Director. I had worked with Father Michael in the parish youth program. At the time, I held a responsible management position with Ethicon which is in the healthcare business. When the two of them approached me and she shared her vision, I became more excited the more I heard.”

“So, Doc, I’m that hotshot MBA you are so afraid of, but I share La Doña Jaramillo’s vision and have committed myself to making this the best facility of its type in New Mexico if not the entire United States. I realize that virtually everything we currently do here will have to evolve over time as the needs of the population continue to change. I don’t know exactly what challenges the future holds, but I am committed to working to stay “ahead of the curve” in every way. I have La Doña Jaramillo’s total support and I meet with her as often as I can to make sure I remain loyal to her vision.”

“I hope that gives you a sense of what La Vida Aureo is about, who I am and why I could really use your wisdom and counsel as I move forward. Becoming our resident handyman is the best way I can think of for you to move freely about the complex and learn about what goes on here.”

“That sounds very interesting. Give me a few days to consider your offer.”

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