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The Sporting Life in NEPA Stock Car Racing Experience at Pocono Raceway, Blakeslee. PAGE 35

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Stereotypes of the generations have been used by the media ever since researchers have been studying the traits of each group. The Greatest Generation fought WW II and “saved the world;” the Baby Boomers are confident, hard working and motivated by position and wage; the X Generation are the forgotten latchkey kids who are resourceful and adaptable; and the Millennials are the coddled technological whiz kids who were born with a mobile phone strapped to their ear and a laptop in the cradle.

Our cover story focuses on the millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 — those technological prodigies who are fast-learning, team-oriented multitaskers who want instant gratification, recognition, work/life balance and flexibility.

Or so they say.

Why study the generations? And how can anyone believe that individuals from a particular generation will behave in a certain way?

Of course the generalizations are not precise for everyone, but there is value in studying groups over the course of their lives.

According to the Pew Research Center, “age cohorts give researchers a tool to analyze changes in views over time; they provide an understanding of how different experiences interact with the life-cycle and aging process to shape people’s view of the world. While younger and older adults may differ in their views at a given moment, age cohorts allow researchers to go further and examine how today’s older adults felt about a given issue when they themselves were young, as well as to describe how the trajectory of views might differ across the ages.”

The study of generations is especially informative, since by 2020, with older workers extending their careers, experts say there can be five generations working side-by-side in the office. That’s quite a varied lot of ideas, habits and expectations.

Good business is based on understanding others. For efficiency, productivity and quality, business should understand generational characteristics and learn how to use them effectively in dealing with each individual.

Healthcare Update: This month, the Spring Healthcare Update considers another study. Geisinger Health System’s My Code Community Health initiative was launched in January 2014 to study patients’ DNA, in an effort to prevent and improve treatment of disease.

The idea, at the time, was to recruit 100,000 volunteer participants who would submit a DNA sample during routine blood tests. The target was reached in two years and Geisinger has extended participation to 250,000 individuals.

As Dave Gardner relates on page 20, My Code has proved it can save lives. Jody Christ, 61, from Elysburg, donated her DNA, was informed she carried a gene which increased her risk for heart attack by a factor of 20, was diagnosed with three heart blockages and had triple by-pass surgery.

Also exciting are the efforts of the physicians and staff at Northeast Radiation Oncology Center (NROC) Dunmore (page 22). Great advances are being made to understand what makes cancer tick at the molecular level, said Christopher Peters, M.D., NROC director. NROC was recently awarded a four-year accreditation for radiation oncology services from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

Regarding last month’s meditation feature by Bernadette Kozlowski: individuals or businesses may reach her at lightyourfiremeditation.com or phone 570-240-3444.

Christine