D CEO Panel Recap: Reopening North Texas

"We have the ability to innovate, collaborate, and succeed at a rate assumed to be impossible."

On May 28, D CEO Healthcare hosted a virtual panel discussing the reopening in North Texas. The panel included three local experts who provided insight on the process of reopening, keeping employees motivated, working remotely, and industry changes.

The panelists were Dr. Tyler Cooper, President and CEO of Cooper Aerobics and Vice Chair of Collin County Economic Recovery Task Force, Jorge Corral, Dallas Office Managing Director at Accenture, and Steve Love, President and CEO of DFW Hospital Council.

Below, find some of the most insightful moments from the panel. Be on the lookout for future D CEO events via our newsletters.

Love on the importance of making sure people know it is safe to come to the hospital:

“48% of people have put off medical treatment, and many are afraid to come to hospitals. I talked to some of the EMT people. They are pronouncing people dead with heart attacks that should have called 911, but they’re fearful to come. Top of mind for us is to explain to people that it is safe to come to a hospital, and if you have other underlying medical conditions, you need to come to the hospital and get treated.”

Cooper on how to handle the difficulty of getting employees to come back:  

“It is difficult in many of the industries to feel comfortable coming back into the workplace. I think every day it is getting better, and people are feeling more comfortable. But again, that’s why we reiterated among the group that they need to provide safety and trust. This isn’t just about money. This about bringing [employees] back into a safe environment where we can all get back to closer levels of normal in order to improve our lives in all capacities.”

Corral on how remote adaptations and collaborations can be effective in the future: 

“Appliance companies and auto manufacturers are designing and manufacturing ventilators in 10 days. Alcohol beverage companies can produce hand sanitizers. Fashion brands can manufacture masks, and tobacco companies can support clinical trials to find a cure, all within days and weeks. What can be done has been reframed.

We have learned that industrywide, we have the ability to innovate, collaborate, and succeed at a rate assumed to be impossible. But that is dependent on us collaborating and working together in different ways. I think these business adaptations and innovations are here to stay.”

Love stresses working collaboratively to come up with adequate next steps in the health care industry:

“We have to work collaboratively together, and we have to compromise because many people lost their healthcare. That is going to compound problems for hospitals because they’re going to be able to have healthcare. They won’t be able to pay deductibles and co-insurance. This next legislative session we have to promote how we work together. How do we reach across the aisle? How do we ensure we do what’s best for the public health of Texans? That’s going to be a difficult balance act. I saw a Kaiser poll of all the people unemployed, we’re close to 40 million in the US, and 60% said they never thought they would have to rely on Medicaid, but now they may have to. I think we’re going to have serious cooperative, collaborative discussions on next steps.”

As businesses start thinking about their reopening plans, Corral reminds leaders to plan in phases:

“This is going to evolve in phases over time. We are not going to back normal in the near future. We all have to redesign for business as unusual. Leaders are thinking about things like first reopening the parts of the business that will generate income fastest to fuel future growth. I think all of us know about the different operational things people need to factor in. Using the opportunity to take a hard look at operations, including your cost profile, to determine what changes need to be made.”

Cooper suggests open communication as a way to help keep employees motivated as they work remotely.

{As the leadership team, it is our responsibility to appropriately communicate with our teams, so they know what’s going on, and they feel connected. That certainly doesn’t solve all the mental health crisis, but medically speaking, when you know more, it decreases the stress. It is the unknown that creates so much stress. If we can give more confidence in at least what is going on – even if it’s bad news – there is less stress with that. But the mental health aspect that has been talking about [in the panel] is a huge pandemic even prior to this COVID pandemic. It’s something that we’re going to have to address very seriously as leaders and be very sensitive to it as we move forward.”


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