It is hard to imagine that a few short months ago things were normal and routine. Fast forward a few months and nothing feels normal, nothing feels routine and we are all, to some degree feeling a bit shell-shocked. Our world has been turned upside down and inside out!
As a healthcare professional with more than 20 years of experience, I have certainly seen my share of, what seemed like at the time, to be cataclysmic health events that impacted the world. From Ebola to Yellow Fever. From SARS to Cholera. From the Avian Flu to the H1N1 Pandemic to Measles. Disease outbreaks have always impacted the world. But this feels different in many ways. COVID19 has impacted the world and, as of the date of this article, more than 3 million infections have occurred worldwide, and more nearly 305,000 people have lost their lives. The United States alone has lost more than 86,000 people and, the number continues to rise- minute by minute.
While there is still much to learn and the picture is always clear in the rearview mirror, I am struck by the positive things that I am seeing. Yes, there are positives in this pandemic though we may have to look closely to find them. Here are a few of the observations that I have made in the past couple of months that are surprising, inspiring, and provide me confidence that we will get through this, that we will not only survive and thrive, but that we will also come out of this better, stronger, and more connected to each other.
- The spotlight on Public Health is good, important, and worth paying attention to! We need Public Health professionals to provide safety and comfort to our communities. We need well-trained administrators and practitioners to offer leadership, safety to the community at large, and science-based guidance. These professionals have always been needed- it is nice to see that they are now being recognized for the good and important work they are doing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018 the job growth for those in Public Health was about 11% and “much faster than average”. My prediction is this will increase dramatically in the coming months and years. The opportunities in Public Health will be tremendous in a post COVID19 world and there is perhaps no better time to consider a degree in Public Health or Healthcare Administration. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.html
- Our providers are heroes! If there was ever a question about that it should be crystal clear at this point. Watching the nurses, doctors, therapists, and administrators serve us each day knowing that they may be putting themselves at risk is inspiring, humbling, and makes me so proud to work in healthcare and to teach and train those who hope to work in healthcare.
- We, as a community, are truly amazing and the steps I have seen others take to protect themselves and their community is awe-inspiring. Paying attention to stay at home orders, making radical shifts to how we live our lives, and being so careful gives me hope and a great sense of pride.
Remember, we are in this together. There are opportunities and innovations that will come as a result of this difficult period. There is much to learn and we are here to help our students, to provide comfort, and to offer direction. As you consider the future, think about how you can serve and how we can help you to do that!
Professor Kane received his Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Healthcare Administration from Northcentral University. He also has a Masters of Education with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and a Masters in Information Technology with a concentration in computer security and assurance. Professor Kane's experience in business, healthcare, and healthcare administration spans more than 20 years. During that time he has served as the president and CEO of a multi-million dollar private national healthcare recruitment, human resources, and outsourcing firm for more than a decade.