SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Baystate Health announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic they welcomed three new trusted community leaders who had no idea of the circumstances they would face as a global pandemic was about to change the world.
The new trustees were Denise Jordan an Executive Director of the Springfield Housing Authority, Dr. Akinyele K. Lovelace a partner of the Family Medicine Associates of Westfield and Paul Picknelly the president of Monarch Enterprises, Inc.
The trustees had the duty of helping Baystate Health navigate through the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic while maintaining its crucial health care obligations to the community and dealing with the financial strain imposed on those in the healthcare industry and all businesses.
“For me the concern was to make sure there were no inequities in testing and that communities of color all had adequate access to testing and to the vaccine once it was rolled out this year. It was also important to make sure these communities had the information they needed to make an informed decision about vaccination and any risks they were concerned about,” said Denise Jordan.
As a trustee with a firsthand view of hospital operations, Paul Picknelly was surprised at how quickly Baystate responded to the threat of COVID-19.
“Within a matter of days the hospital transformed from what it had been doing on a daily basis for over 100 years to rearranging hospital practices to deal with a pandemic the likes of which they had never seen before,” said Picknelly.
While all three new board members worked alongside other board members for just two months, COVID-19 changed the dynamics by presenting the era of the virtual meeting.
“We still were able to accomplish much together, but I missed the bonding experience of meeting in person and being able to form relationships with other board member,” said Dr. Lovelace.
According to CEO of Baystate Health Dr. Mark A. Keroack the trustees are essential in assuring the delivery of safe and high-quality care to patients.