Client Stories: Healthcare Ready

A Nonprofit Organization Committed to Preserving Public Health During and After a Crisis – Such as COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to alter our way of life, it is of the upmost importance that we find time to pause, take a moment of reflection, and recognize those who are continually devoting hours of their time in the fight against COVID-19. To those serving on the front lines – who are risking their lives, to save the lives of the others – we say thank you. To those acting as a beacon of hope and providing sustained optimism for others in their communities, we say thank you. And to the many who are helping those directly impacted by COVID-19 through donations of any sort, we say thank you. 

As a part of our Client Stories – which will be published periodically throughout the coming weeks – we hope to highlight some of our admirable Clients, who have committed countless hours into the fight against COVID-19. 

“Strengthen. Safeguard. Respond.” – three words that define the mission of Healthcare Readya nonprofit organization and Client of Carr Workplaces. 

Formed shortly after Hurricane Katrina, Healthcare Ready serves as a public-private partnership to identify how to better deal with the ramifications of disaster on the national healthcare system. 

During a pandemic such as COVID-19Healthcare Ready becomes essential as it identifies ways to sustain the constant flow of life-saving medical equipment and to minimize the disruption of community health and wellbeingwhen these facets of our healthcare system are of the upmost importance. 

Forging partnerships between the public and private sectors, Healthcare Ready brings together members of the healthcare supply chain and federal, state and local governments. 

“First and foremost, our focus is making sure that we are doing what we can to help coordinate across the supply chain,” explains Dr. Nicolette Louissaint, Ph.D. – Executive Director of Healthcare Ready.  

We service the public-private partnership, making sure that the solutions that we bring to bear to deal with the supply challenges that ultimately result in healthcare disruptions, are being resolved. 

With over a million COVID-19 cases, the United States has become the epicenter of this global pandemic – making Healthcare Ready’s mission even more important. 

The urgency behind getting the outbreak under control within our country and [its] direct territories, is even more critical in having chance to stem thoutbreak of the coronavirus,” said Dr. Louissaint. 

“We work very hard to make sure that we can keep the supply chain going – both the regular flow of the supply chain as well as [coordinating] donations and [finding] opportunities to adjust the needs of smaller facilities or community-based organizations that are continuing to serve in these communities even during this pandemic.” 

“We always say that it’s great to have a healthcare facility but it’s [even] better to have a facility that has all the resources and supplies that they need and trained healthcare workers, staff, that can operate that facility,” she added. 

Steadied was a phrase that Dr. Louissaint emphasized, which aligns with the global goal of ‘flattening the curve’ – the idea that slowing a virus’ spread will lead to fewer people having to seek medical treatment at any given time. Thus, allowing healthcare workers to administer proper care without becoming overwhelmed by a drastic influx of patients. 

While it’s important to understand Healthcare Ready’s end goal of slowing the spread of COVID-19, the logistics to arriving at this point must be highlighted first. 

“The movement of healthcare and the way that healthcare operates, more than anything, is a large logistical operation,” explained Dr. Louissaint. With that, making sure that we can continue to maintain the flow of goods that allow for all our critical supplies, food and other things to make it into the country. 

It’s a very important part of being able to sustain society and again, just control what we need to control to stem the outbreak. 

Healthcare Ready also monitors and tracks directives such as travel advisories and how they affect the movement of medical supplies across the supply chain – whether these may be local or national advisories.

“What we are thinking about is, how travel flows, whether it may be across oceans or across state lines, [how it] may play a role in individuals being able to access the medical supplies that they need.’ 

“That’s why we track things like emergency declarations and access and reentry policies at the state level but that’s also why we have a map that tracks export bans and logistical flows across the world.” 

In what has become labor intensive given the severity of the outbreak in the United States, Healthcare Ready has focused its efforts on COVID-19 hotspots such as Washington, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois, Northern California, New York City, New Jersey and Massachusetts. 

As many of those states begin to approach their peak or their estimated peak for number of cases, it’s very important that we are continuing to track, not just what’s happening in those states from a healthcare delivery perspective, but also what we are seeing as it relates to the policies that impact social distancing and other public health measures that can help to flatten the curve,” said Dr. Louissaint. 

As many public health officials have warned, COVID-19 is a novel virus – meaning that we have never seen this virus before. Given our unfamiliarity with the virusthere is still much to be learned which could dictate the ways we continually combat and treat the outbreak of COVID-19. 

“As we learn more, some of the guidance’s will change, things will evolve and the best chance that we have of being able to lessen the impact and save more lives is by having communities and a society that is adhering to that guidance,” said Dr. Louissaint. 

Along with being a novel virus, one of the serious complications that medical professionals have had to deal with is that one can test positive for COVID-19 but be completely asymptomatic – show zero symptoms – and still be infectious to others. 

Even if you feel like you are okay, it’s still important to adhere to those [stay-at-home] policies because you don’t want to get into a position of inadvertently infecting someone who may not be as fortunate as you, who may not end up being asymptomatic,” implored Dr. Louissaint. 

Following such stay at home orders has led to complete social isolation for many and reduced amounts of social interaction for others. It has been said that humans are social creatures who for the most part, crave social interaction with other humans. While COVID-19 has prevented this on a large scale, there are ways to stay in touch with our loved ones as we socially distance ourselves for the safety of others. 

“It’s very difficult right now in a time of social isolation or physical distancing to feel socially connected to people,” she added. It’s very important to think about ways to stay connected just using social media – I know a lot of people have been relying on Zoom to do this as well.” 

Dr. Louissaint implored that along with staying at home, practicing social distancing, and staying connected with others, it is important to support the organizations that are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. 

“There are a lot of non-profit organizations that are doing great work,” she said. In a time of a pandemic, it may be very difficult for a lot of these organizations to be able to survive. If you’re able to donate, please consider donating to an organization that you trust and believe in. They probably need your dollars more than you realize. 

“A pandemic – whether you are impacted by the outbreak or dealing with what we call cascading effects from the outbreak – it will impact your life,” Dr. Louissaint added. “You don’t have to just be affected, to be impacted.” 

To learn more about Healthcare Ready and their fight against COVID-19, click here. 

Watch Dr. Nicolette Louissaint talk about Healthcare Ready and its COVID-19 response on C-Span, here.

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