A Message from Kate Walsh

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past week, the COVID-19 situation has progressed rapidly, with the World Health Organization officially declaring it a pandemic and Governor Baker declaring a state of emergency in Massachusetts. We’ve already felt this significant change, not just on our BMC Health System, but in each of our lives and communities.

Across BMCHS, staff have stepped up to prepare for this unprecedented challenge that will place enormous strain on the entire health care system. As we ramp up our work, our teams have been performing at their very best. Colleagues across the system have come together to develop the best possible responses to a range of tough challenges, guided by a commitment to the safety and well-being of our staff, patients, visitors, members, and community.

March marks 10 years that I have worked with all of you. Since my earliest days here, I have time and again been so impressed and proud of the resiliency and creativity of our staff, even in the most difficult situations. As we look out to the days and weeks ahead, we will be relying more than ever on each of you for your flexibility and your continued creativity and commitment. Even as we make changes to our daily routines, how we do our work, and what we ask of our patients and their loved ones, I’m asking all of us to remain focused on carrying out our mission and living our values. Never have each of you, whatever role you play, been more important to the work that we do.

I appreciate that the volume of work, combined with the rapidly changing situation, is causing understandable anxiety both here at work and at home. I’m committed to making sure we’re doing all that we can to support you, even as you’re supporting our patients and members. We’re working hard to put those supports in place, with more to come in the days ahead. Meanwhile, it’s important that you make time for your own personal preparedness to keep yourself and your families safe and healthy. That means following our own advice about getting enough sleep, eating nutritiously, staying home with respiratory and flu-like symptoms, washing our hands, not touching our faces, avoiding international travel and large gatherings, and following social distancing protocols.

My deepest appreciation to all of you for working so hard to ensure our hospital and health plan operations are able to meet the needs of our patients and members. And most of all, thank you for being caring and supportive colleagues to one another as we meet this challenge head on.

Kate Walsh
President and CEO