Over the past few months, we have all found ourselves in uncharted territory as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19. When the pandemic first caused CQuence Health Group to close its offices and transition to an entirely remote workforce in March, there was a lot of uncertainty. There was fear around our health and safety, panic-buying at the grocery stores, and apprehension about the future.
But at a time when many of us felt confused and vulnerable, employees across our family of companies banded together to aid the fight against COVID-19.
As an organization that strives to make a meaningful difference in healthcare, CQuence employees knew we needed to take action to support the healthcare professionals who continued to serve their patients and care for our communities. Our solution was to source and assemble a total of 7,000 face shields to distribute to healthcare workers battling the virus on the front lines.
This effort united our employees in a tremendous logistical effort.
“Assembling the face shields is time-consuming, and we didn’t want the healthcare workers who needed them to have to spend their time on assembly before they could put them to use,” said Carol Armitage, Vice President of Operations.
In a concerted effort, our employees sprang into action, coordinating volunteers, creating assembly kits and tackling the process of putting together, packaging and distributing thousands of plastic face shields to healthcare providers—all while following shelter-in-place orders.
“We felt grateful that we were able to help in a small way even though we were isolated,” said CQuence Receptionist Renee Leners. “I loved that we were able to help healthcare providers take care of their patients more safely and effectively.”
Local employees were able to pick up assembly kits from our headquarters and then assemble the face shields at home with their families. This process created the challenge of tracking who had checked out face shields, how many face shields each volunteer had and making sure that the assembled face shields were quickly returned to the office for delivery to healthcare systems.
Renee was instrumental in coordinating the assembly kits, the volunteers and the packaging of the assembled face shields in preparation for delivery.
“Seeing the company step up was really heartwarming, and I’m very proud to be part of a company that has gone above and beyond to help where we could,” said Renee. “I’d like to thank all of the healthcare workers who selflessly give of themselves to help others. They are the true heroes.”
Volunteers from CQuence and our partner companies, Ensocare and Cassling, enlisted the help of their friends, family and even church groups to assemble thousands of face shields as quickly as possible to meet the high demand for personal protective equipment on the front lines of healthcare.
“I have a lot of friends with a heart for serving and, when they heard they could help with the face shield assembly, they jumped all over it,” said Cassling Field Service Engineer Duane Losh.
Duane’s family, friends and church group members worked together, individually and in small, socially distanced groups, to assemble 1,000 face shields. Employees quickly learned assembly line-style production was key to streamlining the process.
“My family had a system down where one person peeled the protective coating, one person assembled the forehead piece, one attached the forehead piece to the face shield and then another person attached the headband arms,” said Carol. “That would be one of the things we did at the end of each day, and we could get about 100 done in 45 minutes. With everyone contributing, we were able to get those face shields to the hospitals super-fast.”
Employees shared photos, tips and compared assembly completion times to encourage each other throughout the two-week process.
“We have never gone through a pandemic like this before,” said Chief Information Officer Randy Wobig. “This situation really showed what we can do when we put our minds to it.”
In the first 48 hours, 600 face shields were assembled and packaged for delivery. In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the packages were delivered to the hospitals after they were stored for three days.
“Once the face shields were assembled, Randy was the hero on the backend who coordinated getting them delivered to the hospitals about every third day,” said Carol.
Face shields were delivered to Methodist Health System, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as Avera Heart Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
As the pandemic continues, we will continue to pursue impactful ways to support our healthcare heroes as they work tirelessly to limit the spread of the coronavirus and protect their patients and their communities. On behalf of the entire CQuence Health Group family of companies, thank you, healthcare workers, for your continued commitment to the health of your patients in the fight against COVID-19.