A Sense of Belonging
A veteran with an unseen disability, Cathy Reinoso helps others feel included through McKesson’s ERGs.
Cathy Reinoso knows the exact moment her journey with anxiety began: Sept. 11, 2001, when the first planes struck New York City’s Twin Towers. From the fourth floor of her middle school in Queens, she had a disturbingly clear view of the huge cloud of smoke billowing out of the buildings. It was in the same area where her father had gone to work that morning.
“It took hours before my family and I learned he was okay,” she recalls. “As we worried, it triggered the anxiety I still deal with today.”
As a teenager, Cathy managed that anxiety on her own. Then in 2011, she joined the U.S. Army National Guard, and three years later she was deployed to Afghanistan as an automated logistics specialist. Away from her family, stationed in a war zone, her anxiety flared. She took up smoking, talked with other soldiers, and finally told her commanders, who ensured that she received medical care and support. In 2015, she moved to Texas, and in 2017, she completed her service and joined McKesson as an analyst.
In January 2020, she took on a new role as an associate replenishment buyer within our Pharmacy Services & Solutions (PSaS) business. But just two months later, her anxiety spiked again – as it did for so many amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cathy during her time in the U.S. Army National Guard
“I’d just finished training, and suddenly we were working from home,” she says. “I started smoking again. Working from home might seem like it would reduce anxiety, but even though I’m a homebody, being there all the time prevented me from feeling like I could fully unplug from the office.”
This time, though, Cathy already had an established support system through her deep involvement with two McKesson employee resource groups (ERGs): Ability, which is dedicated to the disability community at McKesson, and McKesson Military Resource Group (MMRG).
She had accepted an Ability board member’s invitation to join the Las Colinas, Texas, Ability chapter board after networking at an MMRG event. She was intrigued at the potential to continue to connect with other veterans within MMRG while also helping lead a second ERG dedicated entirely to providing resources and a sense of belonging for employees who faced seen and unseen disabilities.
“Ability is a no-pressure, all-inclusive, multi-generational ERG that helps me feel more supported at work,” she says. “I can talk freely and feel included about my anxiety without having it disregarded or diminished. Working in a fast-paced and sometimes lifesaving environment can be stressful, and Ability lets you know you’re not alone.”
The ERG collaborates on making big and small changes for employees in the disability community, such as updating doors for people who use wheelchairs or crutches. But Ability also helps caretakers feel included, too.
“Its resources and events can go a long way for someone who doesn’t have time to research or who needs a little guidance,” she says.
Before assuming her current role as chief of staff for the Ability Las Colinas board, Cathy served as communications lead, brainstorming ideas and sharing information about events and resources. She’s also a member of McKesson’s employee activities committee.
“Ability and MMRG do events together, like author visits, lunch-and-learns or fireside chats with soldiers who have disabilities such as PTSD,” she says. “Aside from meeting people, it’s an opportunity to bridge that gap of transitioning from a soldier with PTSD to a manager with PTSD. It shows you don’t have to fit into one box – you can be different and still gain support and knowledge.”
Sharing knowledge is one of Cathy’s passions, which she now brings to life as an enterprise learning specialist. Since July 2022, she has worked with McKesson’s leadership development team to assign courses and apply credits, update materials, and report on course training analytics.
“Before I joined the Army, I taught in the New York elementary school system, and when I retire, I want to return to education,” she says. “One day my husband suggested I should see if McKesson offers jobs in the educational area. When my current position opened up, I reached out and was encouraged to apply. Now I’m thrilled to be part of a great team delivering educational experiences such as inclusion, time management, and leadership.
Cathy also values the professional and personal development opportunities McKesson affords her, both through her career and through her connection with MMRG and Ability.
“I’ve met great leaders and learned about leadership styles, attended and helped create amazing events, and improved my public speaking skills,” she says. “I’ve also learned about delegating, and I’ve come to understand what it means to make an impact McKesson-wide. That’s a big reason why I love McKesson. It’s a great company to work for.”
And while her 21-year journey with anxiety continues, Cathy cherishes the support she has found within McKesson.
“McKesson understands and values our experiences, whether that’s as a veteran or as someone with a disability,” she says. “I’m a person with anxiety, and at McKesson, I’ve learned not just to deal with it, but to be comfortable talking about it and making it simply part of who I am. Ability and MMRG give me a sense of belonging. When you go to an ERG event and make one new friend to reach out to when it gets hectic or to buddy up with for the next event, it’s a win. It gives me another reason to stay part of our McKesson family.”