Women of September 2020: Natacha Garcia

Tell us a little about yourself and who you are? I am a daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. I was born in Cuba and left with my parent when I was 9 years old for Madrid, Spain.  We moved to Miami two years later where I have lived ever since.  I graduated from South Miami High School and married my high school sweetheart after 4 years.  Today we have been married for almost 37 years and have two amazing daughters. Our oldest Tatiana is a physical therapist and our youngest Alexandra is an obstetrician/gynecologist.  They are both married to wonderful young men who are also in the medical field.  We also have a beautiful little granddaughter named Alessia.  

How does a day in your life look like these days? Before the pandemic, my life involved being out on the field, visiting physicians, hospitals, traveling throughout Florida and Georgia to visit insurance companies, TPA’s and nurse case management companies to educate clients.  It all came to a halt mid-March where life changed and all communications with clients was forced to be on the phone or virtual.  I really missed the interaction with clients in their offices, the after-hours events where everyone could relax and enjoy themselves after a stressful day.  I began to really feel “cabin fever” after a few months in isolation.  

For the past couple of months my life changed dramatically, as the center that I had worked for almost 7 years closed and I lost my job. I had to really evaluate what I wanted to do in the future that could utilize my skills as a nurse case manager and the great relationships I have built.  I was truly fortunate to have found a great company that gave me the opportunity to join their team.  Due to Covid-19, I am still unable to visit clients and life still revolves around the phone and Zoom meetings to carry on business.  I am looking forward to things getting back to normal again soon.   

What makes you unique? I am an extroverted lefty who enjoys working with people.  I really enjoy making connections and finding solutions that create a win-win for everyone involved.  I love the medical field and love assisting and treating patients to regain their full potential. I genuinely enjoy spending time with my entire family and have the smartest and most beautiful granddaughter in the world.  My secret vices are to watch Grey’s Anatomy and criminal investigation shows.  My husband says that I should be a detective or forensic scientist. 

What is your “why?” What inspires you every day to do more/better? My parents left Cuba, many years ago for a better future for them and for me.  My mother left all her family to never see them again until her brother finally was able to come visit her but by then she was too ill to recognize him.  They both worked very hard to be able to give me a good education and life.  I saw all their struggles and that made me a strong woman and the courage to study, work hard and never give up in life.  

Tell us about your career and how you got started? I always had a calling for helping people, and although a little morbid, I always would look at car accidents to see the paramedics, EMT’s doing their work and found it so interesting.   In high school through a work study program was sent to Cedars Medical Center (now U Health) to volunteer and confirm that the medical field was the field that I wanted to pursue.  I confirmed that this was my calling and while continuing to work as a nursing assistant went to nursing school and became a nurse and continued to work there for many years in several specialties.  Although looking back I would have also liked to have become a physician.  Times, dreams were different, and the plan back then that I decided to follow was for me to work as a nurse while my husband went to medical school.  After getting married, he decided to go to business school instead.  Good thing both our daughters are doctors and we can live vicariously through them.  Over the years had the pleasure of owning my own home health business for 20 years and happened to get into the worker’s comp world as a nurse case manager that I really enjoy and found very gratifying. After the home health agency, I worked as a worker’s comp case manager for several years and later worked in a restorative rehab facility focusing the functional restoration of patients with chronic pain.  

What are your future goals? I would like to continue to work in the medical field by building relationship and helping patients live better lives.  The home health agency is extremely rewarding because it enhances patients’ quality of life.  I am truly fortunate to now work in in a high-quality agency that provides exceptional care and I am privileged to be part of this great team. I would like to continue working and excelling at what I do and enjoy life with my family – and hope to have many grandchildren.  My husband and I also have big plans when we retire and travel the world – when the world gets back to normal of course!  

How do you empower other women? I have never felt limited in my abilities as a woman and have transmitted this to my daughters.  I have always told them that they can do anything and be anything that they want to be without limitations.  I hope to have instill this in them and all the women that I have worked with throughout the years.  I have had great role-models and in turn, I hope I have been a great role-model to other women.  I have served as a mentor and provided advice to woman that are in the workforce or are trying to work in the medical field.  I think it is important to provide advice and suggestions to achieve what you want to obtain. 

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