This time last year, concepts such as “lockdowns”, “mask mandates” and “social distancing” were unknown to most of us. Today they are a part of our everyday language as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives. The year 2020 did create its share of challenges like no other. However, I want to end it on a high note, because we all found ways to support our projects and hospital openings. We stood by our motto, “we are essential because we support our essential healthcare colleagues in the field.”
During the height of the pandemic, the HTS team led patient move projects in Manhattan, while other team members led hospital openings in Phoenix and training events in Brooklyn. The demand was there and the urgency to open these facilities proved to be essential to the community. Previous clients also contacted us seeking advice on the tools and processes they had used months prior to swiftly move and cohort their patients with COVID-19. As a Transition and Activation Planning consultant, I had a front-row seat to the struggles our healthcare colleagues endured and was grateful that our tools could be reused for another purpose.
This year we also had to adapt, work smarter, and be more efficient even when the country was shutting down. The team realized immediately that the delivery of services needed an adjustment to meet the needs of our clients. Our team in Richmond, Virginia kicked-off two separate projects virtually and conducted Gemba tours virtually through the use of an iPad and help from our onsite partners. Ironically, our team was in the process of evaluating different platforms hoping to take advantage of recent advancements in virtual capabilities. This change came sooner than we expected. Who would have thought we would be conducting more than 85 percent of our business online. A stretch goal no doubt!
Regardless of the attempt to minimize onsite presence, it was not entirely eliminated. Therefore safety concerns for our staff became paramount. When we were asked by our clients if we would continue helping them on their journey, we pooled our team, and several did not hesitate to help. So, we then began evaluating the possibility of traveling, who would go, and how they would stay safe. To prepare us for the first trip after the shutdown, the leadership team located N95 masks, and sent them to each of the staff, we maintained our social distance while onsite and were tested at every visit before and after. Each of us also made the sacrifice of self-quarantining 14 days after our return home. Every precaution was taken so that our specialized team could remain active in the field. We also provided options for staff who chose not to travel and could virtually support the onsite teams instead.
This year has thrown us a curveball, and through it all, we kept rounding the bases. Within the team, we experienced major life events, relocated two families across the county, celebrated milestone anniversaries, bought new homes, onboarded two new dynamic staff members, and even had time to greet two new babies into the HTS Family.
So, before we leave this year, I’d like to celebrate my team, friends, and family who, despite the situation surpassed all expectations. Here’s to:
- Mary Beth, Maureen, Tiffany, Danielle, Stephanie, and all our specialists that continued to serve in their hospitals
- Tammie’s commitment to pursue a new certification
- Michell who took the initiative to find the right software platforms to support our project needs
- Cliff, Diana, and Nick for staying onsite in NYC throughout the peak of the pandemic to ensure a successful building activation
- Ley Anne and Kim for organizing a company retreat because we know we are stronger together, even if that means virtually
- My friends and family who make a difference in our community, remain vocal about equality and embrace cultural and social diversity
- And of course, the parents (including me) with kids at home who are balancing work and teaching. Who would have thought that kids would be begging to go to school!
I look forward to 2021 and wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!