Community engagement during times of crisis is of the utmost importance and some healthcare institutions are going beyond the call of duty. A glowing example of this type of engagement is the incredible amount of work Novant Health is doing in the spaces of improving healthcare equity gaps and investing millions in upward mobility initiatives within their community. In his interview with Invest:Insights, Senior Vice President of Consumer Engagement Dr. Jerome Williams detailed these initiatives and spoke on being prepared to handle the complications of flu season while operating in the healthcare space during a pandemic.
Daniel Lugo, President of Queens University of Charlotte, knew choosing to go online was an important decision to make early and communicate clearly. Despite these challenges caused by the pandemic, enrollment for the fall semester has remained very strong for the university and they are quite positive in their outlook towards the spring semester. Lugo also spoke on the importance of renaming Burwell Hall in an effort by the university to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.
Consistent messaging in a pandemic is key to reducing risk to the community and, in the case of COVID-19, reducing the spread of a virus. During his conversation with Abby Melone, Mike Downs, County Manager for Cabarrus County, spoke about keeping the messaging consistent that safety was first and foremost in handling the current crisis. He discussed enforcing this message of safety as the county begins to reopen its economy while adhering to the suggestions from the state and federal level.
From social distancing, rearranging of floor layouts to personal protection equipment, attention to hygiene and efficiency are critical factors for consumers and businesses resuming activity during the coronavirus landscape. Architects and designers are keeping a close eye to the COVID-19 related disruption to businesses and daily life. Factors such as floor-specific elevators, top-of-the-line air filtration systems, and touchless office spaces are likely to become new standards in a post coronavirus world, Duda|Paine Principals Turan Duda and Jeff Paine told Invest: Insights.
The sense of community had been strong throughout the nation since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In North Carolina, health systems have taken the lead in ensuring the health and basic needs of the community are being met. UnitedHealthcare Community Health Plan has been addressing food insecurities while placing a keen focus on the most vulnerable of community members, CEO Anita Bachmann told Invest: Insights. UHC has also been working to fight social discrimination of health. By waiving certain fees and co-pays, the provider is mobilizing to make telehealth and all their services more accessible to the community.
Each city and regions’ needs are similar in some facets but vastly different in others. Julie Eiselt, Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Charlotte, discussed how her city’s needs are very different from the rest of the state of North Carolina because of the dense population therein. She also spoke on the city’s ‘Open for Business’ initiative which allows the entirety of the local community access to information about restaurants and retail operations, if they are currently open during this transition period and, if they are open, what the rules are in order to patron these locations.
Swift action and working ahead of state shelter-in-place measures allowed Gaston County to combat the coronavirus pandemic efficiently. The county mandated its own shelter-in-place measure a week before Gov. Roy Cooper implemented a statewide shutdown. As a result, the county is ready to phase out the opening of its economy with health guidelines remaining a top priority, Gaston County Manager Kim Eagle told Invest: Insights. For the small business community, the county’s SBA bridge loans have been critical in helping small businesses throughout Gaston County.
While no one could have been prepared for the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the United States, there are organizations that specialize in helping guide through the community through disasters like this. One such organization is Witt O’Brien’s, who are currently playing the role of communicating the needs of the business community to the various governments that they work with and vice versa. Brad Gair, Senior Managing Director of Witt O’Briens, told Abby Melone about the organization’s efforts to supply as much information as possible so that people can understand what is accessible to them and what will be helpful in helping them pull through this pandemic.
When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic takes place, it is up to local organizations and community leaders to step up and help where they can. One of those organizations in Atlanta is Phase 3 Marketing and Communications who has pivoted their manufacturing plants to produce more PPE resources for the local community, Jim Cannata, Executive Vice President for the organization told Abby Melone. He also discussed how important communication and marketing will be once the state begins to reopen the economy.
In the face of much adversity, Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, President of Central Piedmont Community College, is staying positive as she guides her college through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her conversation with Abby Melone, Dr Deitemeyer spoke on constant and clear communication as being the key to the easier transition her institution has had to an all online curriculum. She also spoke to maintaining these clear communicative efforts throughout the duration of this trying time.
Invest: Insights presents MacAdam Glinn, Skanska USA
Invest: Insights presents Kerri Barsh, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
Invest: Insights presents MacAdam Glinn, Skanska USA
Invest: Insights presents Alice Bravo, Director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transit