Wall Street Journal: After Covid Took His Father, a Hospital Boss Leans on His Wisdom, by Sam Walker (author, The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World’s Greatest Teams (2018)):
For many leaders, the Great Pandemic of 2020 has been the mother of all anomalies: a blur of bizarre, impossible and potentially defining decisions, often made in a hurry with no practical frame of reference.
Judging from his 35-page resume, Dr. Slonim, [CEO of Renown Health, a regional hospital network based in Reno,] might seem like the rare exception. Before coming to Renown in 2014, he’d practiced medicine for many years and earned a nursing degree and a doctorate in public health. He’d also taught medicine and written more than 60 peer-reviewed articles. It’s unclear how he could have been more prepared to tackle the pandemic.
Long story short: No amount of training could have prepared him. ...
In late February, after the novel coronavirus arrived in the U.S., Dr. Slonim began gathering his team to monitor data and make contingency plans. ... In March, with the virus still confined to coastal hot spots, he faced his first difficult decision: whether to spend $11 million to convert a hospital parking garage into an overflow ward with hundreds of beds. ...
To make the call, Dr. Slonim had to dig down to something fundamental: the reason he’d wanted to be a doctor in the first place. As a physician-CEO, he says: “When you know the calculus could be life or death, the financial calculus is really subordinate to that. Human life comes first.”
With construction under way, Dr. Slonim’s next dilemma arrived, and there was nothing hypothetical about it. In a predawn phone call, his 79-year-old father in New Jersey told him he was short of breath. Two days later, he was diagnosed with Covid-19. ... [A]s his father deteriorated, he felt deeply torn between a son’s impulse to jump in the car immediately and drive east, and a leader’s instinct to stay put. His medical training and personal library of leadership books offered little guidance.
December 30, 2020 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink
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