By Jeff Farmer, Public Safety System Director

COMING TOGETHER

The fight against COVID-19 has been challenging but rewarding. This pandemic forced everyone in the health system to pivot and help in new ways. I put aside my day-to-day duties in Public Safety and joined the Incident Command where we coordinated our response. When I look at the results of each person’s dedication, I feel good about our readiness and ability to handle a surge of patients if needed.

As the system director for Public Safety, I see my team working around the clock, from setting up tents, to addressing concerns as people arrive at our facilities, to securing the campuses. All of the initiatives were designed with the well-being of our patients, their families and employees in mind. We are bringing calm during this period of uncertainly, epitomizing our core values and our promise to deliver The Meaning of Care.

WE CAN DO THIS

On stressful days, I think back to my time in the United States Air Force. I remember living in a tent on foreign soil, in the middle of a desert. There were eight other guys and we were facing the threat of an enemy combatant. If I can do that for six months, I can handle whatever comes my way. This is an important mission, too. We will be proud of the work we did, just like I am proud of my time in the military.

There is a lot of planning and consideration when it comes to the decisions being made regarding safety. During difficult times, difficult decisions have to be made in the best interest of those we serve. “We are all in this together” is not just a catchy phrase, it’s a fact. Everyone has a part in the restoration of our way of life.

STAY HEALTHY

Resiliency is key to making it through this pandemic. You must take time to recharge and disconnect from the stress. I enjoy going for walks with my wife and together we love to do yard work. It’s rewarding to see hard work pay off. I encourage people to engage in an activity that brings them joy, such as reading a good book, working out or watching a movie. This helps them to detach, rejuvenate and effectively reengage when it comes to the daily task at hand.  

It’s important to remember to take this day by day. These are challenging times, but this is a marathon, not a sprint. There will always be more planning, meetings, briefings and ongoing projects. There was no playbook for something like COVID-19. This was new and we continue to adapt. It is gratifying to know that the work we are doing today will help with future emergencies as well. We continue to learn and have implemented good policies and procedures. It takes teamwork and we have it.