As our nation wrestles simultaneously with a pandemic, racial unrest, and subsequent economic, social and cultural change not seen in generations, our President and CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, sat down to speak with three leaders in their fields.
Michael Dowling is the President and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York State, and TCFD’s new research partner. He manages 800 hospitals and medical clinics, many of which were in the epicenter of the pandemic. At least 11,000 people in the care of Northwell doctors and nurses recovered from COVID-19. He calls his 77,000 employees “heroes.” “We all know we have good people, but when you see them in a crisis like this, you realize you have great people. And that’s something you should never forget,” he said.
Northwell has been testing a program that allows COVID-19 patients to have visitors in the hospital. He reported it is going very well – welcome news to Center parents who will soon be visiting their loved ones.
Soon Dowling will be working with New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo to reimagine healthcare for the future in light of the pandemic and other outstanding issues like increasing access and coverage, enhancing the quality, and tackling inequalities of care. First, he believes social distancing and masks are still critically important, “Our success will depend on what we all do moving forward and what our employers do. It’s the responsibility of all of us to protect our communities.”
Patrick was also joined by New York Regent Josephine Finn, a longtime attorney and Village of Monticello Justice, and a friend since high school. Patrick said Josephine has been an activist and working on racial justice her whole life. She formed the non-profit Dream Tank in 2007 to empower at-risk youth in Sullivan County, and it has done amazing work educating and inspiring many young men and women. She says she told her investors, “If you build bigger people, you won’t have to build bigger jails.” She was right.
Of the protests and unrest, Josephine was frank. She said, “Unless we get to a point where we can tell each other the truth about what’s gone on in this country for 400 years – it just won’t be over. We’ve all got to get together and sit down and have an honest conversation about how America has treated the descendants of the slaves. It’s just that simple. I’m sorry. There’s no way around it. We’ve tried everything else. We have to have an honest conversation.”
Josephine has also been leading diversity training at The Center for years. She said honest conversations are a part of that training, and it makes TCFD a special place. “If we could get society to work that way, we’d have a beautiful world,” she added.
Patrick’s third guest was Richard Humleker, our TCFD Vice President of Development. He has been at The Center for 36 years. He gave a moving tribute to all his colleagues and the incredibly powerful work they have done over the past few months while our pandemic plan has been in place.
For that tribute and the entire webinar, please watch https://bit.ly/TCFDWebinar
And, for more on the incredible work of Regent Josephine Finn and her Dream Tank organization, please visit http://thedreamtankonline.com/.