SP EC IA LE DI TI ON May 2020 Volume 54, No. 2
COMING TOGETHER How Americans are putting their time & talents to work in the fight against COVID-19.
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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 54, Number 2
How Americans are putting their time & talents to work in the fight against COVID-19. 4.
On the Front Lines of the Fight By Kelsey Sopchyk & Mike Riopell
A Critical Lifeline in a Time of Need By Steve Hartell
Thank God for Truckers By Chris Spear
Training Displaced Workers: Key to Getting Americans Back to Work & Stimulating the Economy By Cinnamon Rogers
A Shelter from the Storm By Kevin Ryan
Partnerships are Key to Defeating COVID-19 By Thomas Moriarty
Doing Her Part By Isabel Rollison
To Beat This Crisis, We Need to Fight Hunger By Kate Leone
The Food Industry Rewrites its Playbook on Crisis Response By Leslie Sarasin
Publisher The Ripon Society
Editor Lou Zickar
President Jim Conzelman
Deputy Editor Kyle Chance
Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery
Advertising Coordinator Asher Kaithern
© Copyright 2020 By The Ripon Society All Rights Reserved
How GM is Mobilizing to Combat a Global Crisis By Hollyn Schuemann
Essential Changes Required During Times of Crisis By Heather Kennedy
Response to COVID-19 will Make Us All Stronger By Rick Schostek
PhRMA Member Companies Tackle COVID-19 from All Angles By Dr. Mike Ybarra
Bringing a Long History of Innovation to the Fight Against COVID-19 By Adam Gluck
Delivering Hope with Every Package By Marcel Dubois
Combating COVID-19: For the USO, the war may be different, but the mission remains the same By Dr. J.D. Crouch II
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RIPON FORUM November 2019
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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Marsha Blackburn Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Co-Chair Rodney Davis - House Co-Chair Greg Walden - House Co-Chair Jackie Walorski - House Co-Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Darin LaHood - Vice Chair, Midwest Mike Kelly - Vice Chair, Northeast Dan Newhouse - Vice Chair, West Frank Lucas - Vice Chair, Southwest Mark Amodei Don Bacon Troy Balderson Andy Barr Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Buddy Carter Tom Cole Doug Collins Paul Cook Tom Emmer Ron Estes Brian Fitzpatrick Bill Flores Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Bill Johnson Dave Joyce John Katko Adam Kinzinger Bob Latta Billy Long Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers Paul Mitchell John Moolenaar John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Tom Rice Steve Scalise John Shimkus Pete Stauber Steve Stivers Glenn “GT” Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this Edition
The Ripon Society has long believed that America works best when Americans work together. And so with a global pandemic paralyzing our country and the world, we decided to publish a Special Edition of The Ripon Forum focused on those Americans who are doing just that. Over the past month, we reached out to businesses and non-profit organizations that are on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. We wanted to know more about the challenges they are facing as a result of the pandemic. We also wanted to hear any first-hand accounts of how their employees and volunteers are overcoming these challenges to keep Americans safe and secure during this tenuous time. The stories that we heard are truly inspiring. From automakers retooling their production lines to make ventilators and personal protective equipment to drug manufacturers shifting their focus to finding a treatment and a cure to clerks and drivers working overtime to make sure our grocery shelves are full, the story of the past six weeks has been a story of Americans at their best. Americans like Neil Ehmig, a military veteran serving as a trauma nurse at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois who picked up an extra overnight shift to help with the fight against COVID-19. “When I walk into work,” Ehmig says, “I feel a sense of pride now more than ever.” Or take Sister Nancy Downing, the Executive Director of Covenant House in New York City. To meet the new demands of the current crisis, she and her team recently converted their offices near the Lincoln Tunnel into bedrooms where they can provide care to sick children and youth in one of the hardest-hit parts of the nation. Steven Richardson is another example of an American rising to the challenge. A truck driver with Big G Express, he has switched from hauling Jack Daniel’s whiskey to another product for which there is an overwhelming demand these days — hand sanitizer. Another American rising to the challenge is Jami Clark. A FedEx Express Global Operations Control specialist, C-17 pilot, and member of the Tennessee Air National Guard, Jami took to the skies earlier this spring to pilot a joint overseas mission with the U.S. Armed Forces, transporting nearly one million test swabs from Italy in under 80 hours. And then there is Debbie Hollis. A General Motors employee and member of the UAW Local in Indiana, Debbie is helping to build ventilators at the GM plant in Kokomo -- a challenge she compares to World War II. “I’m grateful that I get a chance to do my part and be a part of something,” she says. “We are modern-day Rosie the Riveters.” Of course, Debbie Hollis, Jami Clark, and the others mentioned above are not alone. Across the country, tens of thousands of Americans are quietly rising to the challenge themselves — serving in the hospitals, driving the delivery trucks, working the production lines, volunteering at the local food banks, and performing and providing the countless other jobs and services that are helping us get by at a time when we need their help the most. For these individuals, working from home is not an option, and the risk of catching the coronavirus is a risk they live with and work with everyday. At a time when the headlines are filled with bad news, these Americans are providing us with uplifting and inspirational stories that give all of us confidence that America and the world will see a better day. For these Americans, we dedicate this Special Edition of The Ripon Forum. And most of all, we give them our thanks. Lou Zickar Editor of The Ripon Forum email@example.com
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COMING TOGETHER Neil Ehmig Trauma Nurse Advocate Christ Medical Center Oak Lawn, Illiinois
ON THE FRONT LINES OF THE FIGHT by KELSEY SOPCHYK & MIKE RIOPELL
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COMING TOGETHER Descriptions of the fight against the global 445th Aeromedical Evacuation squadron. The 27-yearCOVID-19 pandemic often use the language of war, old is also the school nurse at his alma mater, St. Rita with health care warriors on the front lines battling the High School in Chicago. advance of the virus. “The running joke is that I always have a lot of Soldiers make sacrifices for the love of their jobs,” he said. country, and nurses make sacrifices for the love of their For now, though, his focus is clear: Caring for the communities. Neil Ehmig understands both sides well. flood of COVID-19 patients at Advocate Christ Medical Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Ehmig Center, sacrificing his time and time with family to take has been working in his dream job as a trauma nurse extra shifts and putting his personal safety on the line to since 2016 at Advocate Christ help his community. Medical Center in Oak Lawn, The hospital feels like Ill. That role put him right in a home base to him. When the thick of the fight against Ehmig was earning his nursing COVID-19, as infection rates degree, he volunteered in the city and suburban in Christ’s emergency southland rose and hospital department. So he says he has units were quickly converted called Christ home base for to care for victims of the new more than seven years now. coronavirus. His unit was Just recently, he bought transformed in March, right a house a few blocks from as the virus’ spread started to the hospital with his wife and accelerate. high school sweetheart. She’s Ehmig picked up an extra a social worker at Advocate overnight shift to help with the Christ. fight, a reflection of similar At times, it’s pretty decisions being made by his stressful to be on the front teammates across the hospital. lines of a global pandemic. “I’m so confident in the But the mission is clear, and teams that have been chosen it gives him a sense of pride. to care for our COVID-19 Throughout U.S. history, patients. We are no strangers military veterans have been to trauma and thinking honored and praised with critically,” Ehmig said. statues and holidays for the Giving of himself in sacrifices they’ve made for service of the greater good is the greater good. Ehmig is a military part of his makeup. Growing Ehmig is a military veteran representing the next veteran representing the next up, he proudly watched his father, a Marine, head off for generation. Instead of going generation. Instead of goduty. Ehmig knew he wanted to overseas, he’s fighting a battle ing overseas, he’s fighting a follow suit someday. blocks away from his home Long before the to try to keep his community battle blocks away from his COVID-19 crisis hit and home to try to keep his com- safe.“When I walk into work,” as Ehmig fell in love with munity safe. nursing, he considered going he said, “I feel a sense of pride back to school to advance his now more than ever.” RF education and career. Instead, he followed his father into the military. Kelsey Sopchyk is coordinator of media relations Ehmig joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves in a & Mike Riopell is manager of media relations for medical capacity as 2nd Lieutenant Flight Nurse in the Advocate Aurora Health. Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, one of the nation’s leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 788-bed, premier teaching institution with more than 1,500 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center provides emergency care for more than 105,000 patient visits annually and has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois.
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A CRITICAL LIFELINE IN A TIME OF NEED
by STEVE HARTELL
A driver for Amazon makes a delivery. Like all companies, we at Amazon are adjusting to a new uncertain world turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis. We’re focusing our response in four areas. As one of many companies that are providing essential services, we are focused first and foremost on keeping our employees safe. We are keeping hundreds of thousands of Americans working and hiring thousands more. We’re using our scale and technology to find ways to help by launching testing initiatives and donating resources to people in the communities where we operate. And we’re making improvements to the shopping experience on behalf of our customers. 6
This is just the beginning, and we’ll continue to look for ways to help. Keeping our employees safe Online shopping is the safest option for both customers and employees because it dramatically limits interaction between people on both sides of the equation. Since the crisis began, we have aggressively and quickly worked to ensure the safety of our teams by making regular, critical updates to our processes to ensure we can continue delivering items like household staples, sanitizers, baby formula, groceries, and medical
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COMING TOGETHER supplies. We’ve made more than 150 process updates to help protect employees—from enhanced facility cleaning and social distancing measures to piloting new disinfectant techniques such as spraying and UV light robots. We’ve delivered personal protective gear to our employees and implemented thermal temperature checks across our operations worldwide. Additionally, we are working on building scalable testing for all employees, including those showing no symptoms. Regular testing on a global scale across all industries would both help keep people safe and help get the economy back up and running. But, for this to work we as a society would need much more testing capacity than is currently available. We’ve begun the work of building incremental testing capacity. A team of Amazonians with a variety of skills – from research scientists and program managers to procurement specialists and software engineers – have moved from their normal day jobs onto a dedicated team to work on this initiative. We have begun assembling the equipment we need to build our first lab.
computing power—whether for vital healthcare work, to help students continue learning, or to keep employees productive at home—is critical. Governments are leveraging AWS to build out new capabilities in their efforts to end this pandemic. Last month, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training implemented an AWS solution to assist the processing of unemployment insurance claims for state residents in just 10 days, getting much needed benefits to citizens more quickly.
Working on behalf of customers Our customers can also be sure we’re working on their behalf as well. We’ve made changes to improve the changed shopping experience during the pandemic. We keep our Whole Foods Markets open and clean and now provide masks to all shoppers, so they can safely access fresh food and other essential goods. We created an “unattended delivery” option for those who get their groceries online. We’re focused on the highest priority items to ensure fast delivery of essential products like household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products that can Keeping hundreds of help our customers weather this thousands of Americans new reality. A grocery associate assists a customer at Whole Foods. working, and continuing While price gouging has to hire been an issue for all retailers In March and April, we during the crisis, Amazon We are keeping announced plans to — and have customers can be sure they hundreds of thousands of now hired — 175,000 people are getting products for a fair in our fulfillment and delivery Americans working and hiring price. We have stopped more network in response to increased than 500,000 price gougers thousands more. customer demand and to assist and suspended more than existing employees. We know 6,000 sellers around the world many people have been economically impacted as jobs in areas associated with COVID-19 price gouging. Amazon is also like hospitality, restaurants, and travel are lost or furloughed as partnering with law enforcement agencies to hold these price part of this crisis. We welcome anyone out of work to join us at gougers accountable, and has handed over information about Amazon until things return to normal and their past employer is price gougers to 42 state attorneys general thus far. We are able to bring them back. dedicated to stamping out this exploitative activity. For the past two decades Amazon and our workers have built an infrastructure to deliver goods quickly and reliably. We Investing in communities are proud of the role we play to ease the pain of this pandemic, Amazon has ramped up its philanthropic and community serving as a lifeline for millions of consumers and small businesses service efforts to help our neighbors adjust to this new way of worldwide. We will continue to rise to meet life. Initially, we launched a $20 million Amazon Web Services the challenge posed by COVID-19 by (AWS) Diagnostic Initiative to accelerate COVID-19 research, innovating and investing in our people, our and Jeff Bezos personally committed $100 million to Feeding customers, and the communities we call America. We’ve donated $20 million in Amazon devices home. RF globally to those in need, giving Seattle Public School students 8,200 laptops and more to come, much more. Steve Hartell is the Head of Congressional AWS plays an important role in this crisis. The ability for Affairs at Amazon. organizations to access scalable, dependable and highly secure RIPON FORUM May 2020
THANK GOD FOR TRUCKERS by CHRIS SPEAR
Steven Richardson 8
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COMING TOGETHER Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about The few weeks ago, I was overjoyed to hear the President American Trucking Associations’ motto: Moving of the United States say, “thank God for truckers.” America Forward. It’s never been truer than it is And I couldn’t agree more. I’m grateful for today. drivers like Steven Richardson, with Big G Express, Everything we need to fight COVID-19 is moved who switched from hauling Jack Daniel’s whiskey to from Point A to Point B by a truck driver. Medical their newest product – hand sanitizer. And for Tina supplies, cleaning products, food, gas, and even Peterson, a FedEx driver who recently had a family the world’s newest hot commodity – toilet paper. offer her a meal while she was on her route. They’d Without truckers, grocery store shelves and hospital put it together ahead of time in case they came across supply rooms would be empty. The result would be a hungry hero. chaos. In all my years working for The doctor who’s saving the trucking industry, I’ve never lives in a New York hospital – seen more gratitude and concern a trucker delivered her mask. for our hardworking drivers. The cashier scanning groceries While we’re still working in a Nebraska supermarket – with Congress to expand the a trucker delivered that food. definition of “essential worker” Truck drivers ARE the supply to include the crucial personnel chain. They make sure we have who support drivers, we’re what we need, where we need thankful they’ve extended the it, when we need it. And that’s expiration dates for commercial always been crucial. Right drivers’ licenses while DMVs now, it’s just more obvious. are closed, and that state Most drivers chose a governments are working to career in trucking because they keep rest stops open for truckers. knew it was essential. And it’s Now that Congress has a not surprising they’ve stepped plan to provide immediate relief up during this crisis. They’re to our nation’s small businesses used to sacrifice. Nights away and individual workers, we’re Chris Spear from family, trying to find a encouraging them to shift their spot to park for the night, the focus to repairing and expanding same sandwich at every diner. our infrastructure. That way, I’m grateful for drivers Those are the frustrations America’s truckers can keep on like Steven Richardson, every driver knows all too delivering the medical supplies well. And when you spend your that are helping save lives and with Big Express, who work hours in a cab, you’re the food that’s keeping the switched from hauling used to the social distancing country fed. and isolation everyone is now I’ve never been prouder Jack Daniel’s whiskey to experiencing firsthand. of the men and women I work their newest product – Having those sacrifices with. When coming together hand sanitizer. acknowledged by a grateful is more important than ever, nation is an honor for the men they keep Moving America and women behind the wheel. Forward. RF In the past month, I can’t tell you how many people have sent me photos of thank Chris Spear is President and CEO of the American you cards, letters, and encouraging chalk messages Trucking Associations, the nation’s leading written for truckers. Our drivers have been called “road organization representing the interests of the trucking heroes” and “the lifeblood of the economy.” In fact, a industry.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as of May 2019, the number of for-hire carriers on file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration totaled 892,078, private carriers totaled 772,011, and other interstate motor carriers totaled 84,930.
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RESORT OWNERS’ COALITION
TRAINING DISPLACED WORKERS KEY TO GETTING AMERICANS BACK TO WORK & STIMULATING THE ECONOMY By CINNAMON ROGERS Every community across the country has been impacted by COVID-19. We applaud the frontline workers, government officials and families across the country for doing their part. We are so proud of the amazing good works coming from our member companies (see our Tech for Good resource here) and also of how CompTIA’s training and certifications are providing American workers displaced by this pandemic with new and upgraded skills to get a great job in the IT sector. By giving people a pathway to a job in the tech sector, we are helping fill an urgent need for trained and certified professionals. More than 300,000 tech jobs were added in 2019 and the demand will only grow after this pandemic ends. That’s because, as we’ve witnessed throughout this crisis, trained and qualified IT professionals are
vitally important to healthcare professionals, first responders, educators, students and government officials to keep us safe, secure and informed. And at a time when unemployment numbers are skyrocketing, jobs in IT are far more stable. The average U.S. unemployment rate was nearly double the unemployment rate of IT occupations last year, and we saw more than 800,000 tech job postings in emerging tech. We anticipate a greater need in the coming weeks, months and years as businesses become more reliant on technology in the aftermath of coronavirus. In addition to CompTIA’s advocacy on behalf of the IT sector, our nonprofit organization has educated and certified nearly 3 million workers in cybersecurity, networking, cloud computing and technical support since our certification program launched in 1992.
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COMING TOGETHER It has since become the largest vendor-neutral These initiatives from CompTIA are helping credentialing program for technology workers in future professionals get industry-leading training and the world. Through our programs, CompTIA stands career-changing certifications during these uncertain ready to play our part to help up-skill and re-skill times. CompTIA has always championed building a displaced workers. That is why we’ve stepped up in future ready workforce and it is more important than this moment of crisis. The tech industry contributed ever that we continue providing a pathway to get nearly $1.9 trillion to our economy last year so we’re people working, which is the fastest and surest way providing the tools to make it easier for Americans to make our economy flourish once again. Congress to get back to work and fuel also has the opportunity economic growth. to solve two of the most First, CompTIA is pressing issues of the day currently offering free – helping tens of millions e-learning for CompTIA IT of dislocated workers and Fundamentals, the only precreating a next-generation career certification that helps workforce through smart potential career changers policies and funding for and others determine if workforce training that they have the competency focuses on roles in cyber, for and interest in a career emerging technologies, in information technology. infrastructure deployment Through mid-April, over and other IT fields. 25,000 people registered. That’s why we strongly CompTIA has also created a support the inclusion of YouTube Live Study Group funding for federal and state for these learners. workforce development Second, we’re helping programs in the next federal students learn from their relief package. While homes. CompTIA has Congress has been focused partnered with Amplifire to Cinnamon Rogers on helping individuals offer free online resources and small businesses, and to help students attending rightfully so, they must our partner schools through also begin taking steps to CompTIA stands ready the end of the school year. get Americans working to play our part to help This online exam prep tool again. By dedicating helps students stay on track, up-skill and re-skill disresources toward creating maximize study time and opportunities for displaced placed workers. That is prepare with confidence for workers to be reskilled or why we’ve stepped up in their exams while schools upskilled, we can plan for remain closed. what comes next and meet this moment of crisis. Third, CompTIA is also the needs of a reshaped offering other new online job market that is more tools to assist displaced dependent on technology. workers, career changers or anyone else who has The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened ever thought about working in IT. Because in-person awareness of how important technology is in keeping instruction and testing are less accessible right us connected and businesses running. Through now, CompTIA is offering virtual pathways through innovation, charitable contributions and training a remote/home testing for its exams to ensure the new generation of professionals, the tech industry proper training and certification process can happen is ensuring that this pandemic will end sooner, the anytime, anywhere. economy can bounce back faster, and thousands of Lastly, to serve our members, students and workers in need of the skills and training necessary lawmakers, CompTIA has created an online forum, will have a path toward new opportunities. RF covid19.comptia.org, that allows technology companies and professionals to share valuable Cinnamon Rogers is Executive Vice President of information and resources on how organizations of Public Advocacy at CompTIA, the leading voice for all sizes are coping with the impact of COVID-19. the global IT industry. 12
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A SHELTER FROM THE STORM by Kevin Ryan
Shelter at home means one thing when you have a home. But what does it mean when you have no home, especially when youâ€™re a young person on your own, unsure where to sleep, eat, or find refuge from the pandemic? That is the question we face at Covenant House, where we help children and youth experiencing homelessness in 31 cities across six countries as COVID-19 loots all our lives relentlessly. Today, we are filled with over 2,000 infants, children, and youth who have no other place to call home. Like nearly everywhere else on earth, the virus has hit us and infected some of our kids and staff. 14
We have converted offices, conference rooms, and drop-in centers into isolation units at each of our houses to care for sick and symptomatic youth. In Anchorage, Alaska, for example, we converted one of our transitional homes into a quarantine residence for young people who test positive or show signs of the virus. In Houston, we refashioned the dropin center into isolation bedrooms. In New York City, just outside the Lincoln Tunnel, our executive director Sister Nancy Downing and our team converted their offices into bedrooms, where we now provide care to sick children and youth in one of the hardest-hit parts of the nation.
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COMING TOGETHER To care for the sick and prevent the spread of Beyond the adverse health consequences of the infection, Covenant House staff and youth need virus, its economic and social implications are already Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – thousands wreaking particular havoc on our kids’ lives. Mass of masks, gloves, face shields and gowns. President school closures are cutting a vital source of nutrition and Mrs. Bush quickly donated substantial funds to for millions of kids. Few colleges are committing to Covenant House in March to purchase PPEs, which we continue housing and feeding students who don’t have have distributed across the country to our teams. We a place to go, and we are serving thousands more meals are closely monitoring our pantry and supply stocks, each week. Our young people are seeing their shifts including cleaning supplies, thermometers and linens cut and jobs eliminated as the service, hospitality and as we stretch to meet the burgeoning needs of children transportation industries confront reductions in their and youth amid the pandemic. businesses. In New Orleans, 85 percent of our youth I have drawn inspiration repeatedly from former have lost their jobs since March 1st, and in New York Covenant House youth who City, it is closer to 90 percent. now serve on the frontlines This virus raged into our among the nation’s many lives, armed, pummeling us into hero helpers. When we first our corners. The excruciating met her in Alaska, April flash of obituaries. The Rayes was a victim of severe sickness, and the fear of it. The child abuse, barely a teenager great unknowing. and pregnant. She went on to We could leave it there. raise her son, graduate from And yet, the boundless, high school and college, beautiful, bounty of Love is then medical school. Today ever-present and battle-ready. Dr. April Rayes works long Love is restocking grocery days, attending to the sick shelves, rushing the sick to in Washington. I heard from hospitals, building ventilators, Tawana Ewing, too, who helping the ill, mourning the was discovered by an elderly fallen, housing the vulnerable, couple in a Walmart parking sewing masks, racing to find a Kevin Ryan lot at 11p.m. more than a vaccine — generously lifting decade ago, sobbing and the shades and turning on Today, we are filled with cradling her two-month-old the lights. I see this every infant, without shelter. They over 2,000 infants, children, day across Covenant House: brought her to Covenant kitchen staff, social workers, and youth who have no House New Orleans, where nurses, cleaning staff, doctors other place to call home. she began to build a new life. coming in the front doors to Today Tawana has her own accompany and care for kids home, serves as a member during a terrifying time. of our Board of Directors and works round-the-clock Yes, COVID-19 is fiercely testing us, and there are with the poor at a health center in the Lower Ninth very tough days ahead for all of us, particularly kids District, caring for COVID-19 patients. confronting homelessness. But this virus will not undo Most young people overcoming homelessness the world. It is no match for a people united in hope have already suffered enormous trauma before finding and devoted to confront it in common cause. RF Covenant House. This health crisis is heightening that vulnerability to an unprecedented level. Many Kevin Ryan is the President & CEO of Covenant House. of the young people at Covenant House arrive here To learn more about how you can help homeless youth medically neglected and their bodies bear the scars of in America during the COVID-19 pandemic, please life on the streets. visit www.covenanthouse.org.
Covenant House is the largest primarily privately funded charity in the Americas helping homeless and trafficked youth, providing 24/7 crisis care and ongoing support in 31 cities across six countries. In nearly 50 years of service, Covenant House has never closed the doors.
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PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO DEFEATING COVID-19 BY THOMAS MORIARTY
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COMING TOGETHER As our nation responds to the realities of the COVID-19 patients, providers, and consumers are all getting what pandemic, public-private partnerships play a critical role they need. CVS Health is helping patients access care by in meeting the needs of the country, especially when it waiving cost sharing for COVID testing and treatment for comes to health care. Pairing the capabilities of federal, our Aetna members, and by making telemedicine more state, and local governments with private sector innovation available. We are supporting health care providers and and scale is more critical than ever in responding to the clinicians so they can focus on critical patient care and nationâ€™s needs. CVS Health is proud to be one of these working with hospitals and providers, like UCLA Health partners and one of the companies answering the call to and Piedmont Healthcare to create hospital bed capacity action for our country. during the pandemic. We have enhanced our existing home We know that in order to re-open the country, testing infusion capacity and capabilities through Coram to help is key. CVS Health is utilizing transition eligible IV-therapy its expansive community patients to home-based care. presence to bring COVID-19 To ensure uninterrupted access testing closer to home. We were to prescription medication, the first retailer to open a largewe have provided free home scale test site and currently delivery, offered 90-day operate sites in five states prescriptions, and waived early through partnerships with the refill limits so patients do not U.S. Department of Health and need to leave their homes. Human Services and governors What we have been able to in Connecticut, Georgia, accomplish so far could not be Massachusetts, Michigan, done without the tireless efforts and Rhode Island. These sites of CVS Health employees. complete approximately 1,000 Whether it is overseeing test tests per day, and we have been sites, providing medication able to provide real-time results and care, or ensuring our stores for 30,000 individuals each are stocked with essential week. goods, we are inspired by our By the end of May, we will colleagues every day. They are significantly expand our testing part of an army of countless Thomas Moriarty capabilities by offering selfhealth care professionals and swab tests at CVS Pharmacy frontline workers who have locations across the country, brought the country together We were the first retailer to subject to availability of supplies through their selfless acts. and lab capacity. Testing will We owe them all a debt of open a large-scale test site take place in parking lots and at and currently operate sites in gratitude. drive-thru windows â€“ not in our As CVS Health and so five states through partnerstores, which will remain open many others work to combat the to customers. This expansion COVID-19 pandemic, we also ships with the U.S. Departwill give us the capacity to are thankful for the on-going ment of Health and Human potentially process up to 1.5 work by federal, state and local million tests per month. government leaders to provide Services and governors in An important consideration the resources necessary to Connecticut, Georgia, Masin our testing strategy is the meet this challenge. In your sachusetts, Michigan, and reality that minority and other community and nationally, we underserved communities are committed to continuing to Rhode Island. have been disproportionately partner to ensure our countryâ€™s impacted by the virus. We are critical needs are met during also developing mobile solutions that will allow us to join this time and to using the proven innovation of publicwith health care professionals to bring testing capabilities private partnerships to lead us to a safe and healthy future to these communities. Those same services can be used for beyond COVID-19. RF businesses that will begin to re-open in the coming weeks and months. Thomas Moriarty is the Executive Vice President, Chief While testing is critical to reopening the nation, we Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel know that we have to do everything we can to ensure for CVS Health RIPON FORUM May 2020
DOING HER PART by ISABEL ROLLISON
With wider-spread coronavirus testing needed in getting them overnight,” Clark said moments after her cities and states across the country preparing to peak, plane landed last week. “We’re working so we can get Jami Clark — a FedEx Express Global Operations answers to this pandemic and try to beat it.” Though exhausted by this mission — and the Control specialist, C-17 pilot, and member of the Tennessee Air National Guard — took to the skies to stress that resulted from such a high-stakes operation — the team remained in pilot a joint overseas good spirits thanks to mission with the the encouragement they U.S. Armed Forces, received from both the transporting nearly one public and private sectors. million test swabs from “Everything that we’ve Italy in under 80 hours. seen from every crew As parts of Italy member and team member began to slowly here at the [National reopen, including Guard] and FedEx is a areas where surplus positive attitude, and that test kit equipment is keeps us going,” Clark manufactured, Clark said. and her team began While this was Clark’s a mission to quickly first flight assignment of move these needed this kind, she suspects it supplies to the United will be just one of many States. Over the course upcoming undertakings of the mission, Clark between FedEx and and her crew traveled the National Guard to from Memphis, Tenn. support the fight against to Germany, handed the Jami Clark — a FedEx Express COVID-19. And having plane off to another crew Global Operations Control speserved both organizations who flew from Germany for more than 10 years, to Italy and back with cialist, C-17 pilot, and member of Jami is grateful for the supplies while she and the Tennessee Air National Guard opportunity to do her part her team rested, then in the broader pandemic Clark piloted the final — took to the skies to pilot a joint response. flight back to the U.S. overseas mission with the U.S. “It’s an absolute honor Moments after Armed Forces, transporting nearly and privilege that both landing back in FedEx and the [National Memphis, a FedEx team one million test swabs from Italy Guard] have allowed was waiting to sort and in under 80 hours. me to be a part of these distribute the test swabs missions,” she said. “I’ve to ensure the precious cargo could be quickly delivered to eager recipients trained for it and it’s what I love to do, so it’s the ultimate honor and privilege.” RF throughout the country. “Folks are getting the supplies they need: the testing swabs, the [personal protective equipment], the masks Isabel Rollison is a Communications Advisor with — any number of items that we’re bringing in, they are FedEx. 18
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American chemistry drives the innovations that create a healthier, safer and more sustainable future.
The business of chemistry supports over 4 million jobs for hard-working Americans.
The products of chemistryâ€”from bike helmets, to life-saving medicines, to a strong defenseâ€”keep us safe every day.
Helping to solve the biggest challenges facing our nation and world.
TO BEAT THIS CRISIS, WE NEED TO FIGHT HUNGER by KATE LEONE
Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank in Akron, Ohio.
At a food bank distribution last month in San Antonio, an unprecedented 6,000 families pre-registered to receive assistance. 10,000 showed up. Just this week, the Arkansas Foodbank scheduled a mobile food distribution from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. but ran out of food after an hour. Cars had begun lining up before dawn, and they could have served 2,000 more families. From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Pittsburgh, Kansas, photos of lines of cars that stretch over the horizon or of tightly packed lines in parking lots have gone viral. These photos will long serve as a testament to the unprecedented challenges the COVID-19 crisis has brought. 20
COVID-19 has upended our food supply chain. Over 72 billion pounds of food are wasted each year, a number that is likely to increase this year due to COVID-19 changes to the food supply chain. While we donâ€™t have a problem growing enough food to feed everyone in our country, we do have a food connection problem. At the root of that problem is an overwhelming increase in demand, a stark illustration of how close so many families are to needing charitable and government assistance. The latest survey of Feeding Americaâ€™s network of 200 food banks showed an average increase in demand of 70 percent. Our network estimates that 40 percent of
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COMING TOGETHER the people we now serve have never been to a food bank will meet the current need without an accompanying before. Making the situation more challenging, many of increase in benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition our 60,000 partner food pantries and meal programs have Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is this nation’s first closed or suspended operations, the number of volunteers line of defense against hunger. It is also among the most has dropped significantly, and retail donations have important lines of defense against an economic crisis. declined. In fact, during the last economic downturn, studies It is the perfect storm for our nation’s charitable showed that for every dollar spent on SNAP, about $1.70 food system. The more we help families in crisis now, was returned to the economy. The Congressional Budget the more economically self-sufficient they will be in the Office and Moody’s Analytics rate SNAP as one of the future. Feeding America estimates that COVID-19 could most effective supports during economic downturns, cause an additional 17 million Americans to face hunger, supporting local retail in rural areas that need those many of them children. It is a reminder that even as the dollars the most. COVID-19 curve flattens, the hunger curve will not. This crisis has exposed the fragility of food security Thankfully, we are in America. Many of the not alone in facing this same families and the historic challenge. We same cars lining up at food work in partnership with distribution centers today faith groups and local were in the aisles and community organizations parking lots of our nation’s on the ground and have built supermarkets just a month strong relationships with before. These families never the private sector across imagined they would need a the food industry. We are helping hand. Our staff and fortunate to be supported volunteers hear the same in our mission by donations thing from these Americans from Americans in every whose paychecks have part of the country. We vanished overnight: “I will are also indebted to our do anything to feed my A volunteer loads groceries into a car at the volunteers and staff, the family.” Houston Food Bank. very definition of frontNo American should line heroes, who risk their have to wonder where their own health to serve our next meal will come from, Feeding America estimates neighbors who need our before, during or after a help right now. food crisis like this one. At that COVID-19 could cause an We are grateful to Feeding America, this crisis additional 17 million Americans congressional leaders who has challenged our network have prioritized investment to continue to provide to face hunger, many of them in federal nutrition programs nutritious meals. Moreover, children. It is a reminder that through legislation that our network of food banks even as the COVID-19 curve increased funding for The remains on the ground after Emergency Food Assistance the bigger crisis passes, flattens, the hunger curve Program and flexibility in providing support to people will not. child nutrition programs to who need help because of less help ensure children have visible crises in their lives. access to meals when school As this difficult time passes, is not held in classrooms. We know the leadership and we will continue to work with Congress to better connect staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have spent food with people in need. Our goal, as always, is that no long hours to implement those changes and to stand one will need charitable or government up the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. We are assistance to feed their families, but committed to our partnership to help ensure those efforts until we reach that aspiration, we are result in connecting food with people who need it in committed to helping people emerge communities across the country. stronger than ever. RF At the same time, we know this will not be enough. Our efforts are an important component in the fight Kate Leone is the Chief Government against hunger, but no amount of charitable intervention Relations Officer of Feeding America. RIPON FORUM May 2020
THE FOOD INDUSTRY REWRITES ITS PLAYBOOK ON CRISIS RESPONSE by LESLIE SARASIN
The food industry is no stranger to responding to Our industry rose to the occasion and managed the crisis. With even a modicum of warning signs, grocers challenges that emerged during this national emergency and their supply chain partners are often prepared to and it continues to do so. In real-time, grocers and their handle the natural disasters that sporadically but with supply chain partners had to rewrite their playbooks on increasing regularity take place across the country. crisis response. We can track where a storm is To heighten personal safety going, predict where a fire is and engender a deeper comfort headed, or define the areas being level among associates and affected by a drought. Knowing shoppers, retailers employed these things enables our industry various tactics in their stores to to at least have a notion about implement the critical protocol the timing and the degree of the of maintaining safe social emergency, ensuring customers distances. For example, retailers receive the necessities they need marked six-foot intervals in times of crisis. throughout their stores, installed However, when it comes safety screens when possible, to responding to the national limited the number of customers, emergency brought by the turned some store aisles into COIVD-19 pandemic, the one-way passage, reminded experience has been a truly novel customers of social distancing one for the food industry. For via in-store announcements, and the first time, we weren’t able to expanded pickup and delivery simply redirect supplies to one services when possible. Leslie Sarasin impacted region of the country. Our members are dedicated We couldn’t allocate extra to protecting public health Our industry rose to the human power to ensure stores and as such have taken several reopened quickly to serve their occasion and managed the measures to protect both their neighborhoods. This national associates and customers. challenges that emerged crisis impacted businesses and Grocers have closed their stores communities differently, and early for overnight cleaning during this national it stretched across the entire and stocking and have utilized emergency and country. numerous hours of CDCit continues to do so. Despite these extraordinary approved cleaning and sanitizing obstacles, it’s in times of practices to sterilize high-touch emergency that we realize the surfaces throughout the day. true resiliency of our supply chain. Our industry has As the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 worked around the clock to replenish and restock pandemic, there’s a more urgent need for online shelves, while ensuring the cleanliness of stores and the grocery shopping to reach all customers. Offering safety of its associates. Amid operational hurdles, the online ordering and payment for SNAP customers is an needs of all our customers – including Supplemental important step to address the evolving needs of U.S. Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and WIC grocery digital shoppers and guarantees we leave no shoppers – remained top-of-mind. customer unserved at this critical time. FMI is working 22
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COMING TOGETHER closely with USDA to ensure any SNAP retailer who would like to and is able to participate can be authorized as an online SNAP retailer as swiftly as possible. Additionally, product substitutions are a necessity even in programs such as WIC. A nationwide waiver would allow for replacements of products in the category and would help retailers and customers alike. For example, if the size and variety of WIC-eligible bread is sold out, mothers would have the opportunity to purchase comparable products, perhaps of a different size or brand instead. Outside these operational and policy hurdles, retailers have had to respond to changes in the way Americans are eating and shopping. Quarantines, work requirements and medically induced isolation have challenged some families to find new ways of safely staying connected. In response, millions of Americans are cooking more and spending more family mealtime together because of the pandemic. According to FMI’s U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends COVID-19 tracker, 41% of consumers are cooking more meals at home with 36% of shoppers reporting healthier eating habits compared to their habits before COVID-19 became a
national concern. At a time when meaningful connections are more valuable than currency, family meals are confronting some new tests and trials, providing us all some new learning opportunities. Many have found their new work proficiency in conducting virtual meetings to pay off in some surprising ways with some families taking full tech-advantage of holding online meal gettogethers. I am grateful for the leadership demonstrated by FMI’s member companies and the commitment of their dedicated workforce to ensure families have access to food during this unprecedented emergency. We know there will be many pressures on Congress when they return to session, but FMI would encourage an acknowledgement of our critically essential and dedicated workforce with both tax relief and limited liability protection to ensure unscrupulous plaintiff attorneys do not highjack the pandemic for their own enrichment. RF Leslie Sarasin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of FMI – The Food Industry Association.
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HOW GM IS MOBILIZING TO COMBAT A GLOBAL CRISIS by HOLLYN SCHUEMANN
GM employee builds a ventilator at the GM Kokomo Operations in Kokomo, Indiana. At General Motors and across the auto industry, generations of employees have been counted on to develop solutions during times of crisis. Today is no different. As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, thousands of our team members, along with our global suppliers, have been working with speed and urgency to get medical professionals the tools they need to save lives, including face masks, other protective equipment and critical care ventilators. The demand for ventilators, in particular, has quickly outpaced the supply. At increasingly
overwhelmed hospitals, access to enough ventilators can be the difference between life and death. That’s why we volunteered to work with Ventec Life Systems to arm front line medical professionals with the Ventec V+Pro, the kind of critical care ventilator needed to treat seriously ill patients. “We joined the fight against the coronavirus because it’s the right thing to do. And because we believe our talent and ingenuity can help the world win this fight,” GM CEO & Chairman Mary Barra said. The V+Pro is portable and can run on battery power, which are important factors as medical professionals Source: American Action Forum
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COMING TOGETHER consider treatment in non-traditional locations, such as Michigan manufacturing facility to manufacture face field hospitals that don’t have pressured air supply and masks quickly and efficiently. Understanding the need other normal hospital functions. for urgent action, we started producing masks just six That’s why we are proud to contribute our days, 23 hours and 30 minutes after our initial kickoff purchasing and manufacturing capability alongside the meeting – beating our internal target for timing. respiratory care expertise of Ventec. Together, and with By the end of the first week of production, we the help of our significantly expanded supply chain, our delivered the first 20,000 masks to workers on the Kokomo facility is building 30,000 desperately-needed frontlines of the pandemic and within two weeks, ventilators under contract with production will ramp up to the U.S. Department of Health approximately 50,000 masks and Human Services. We are per day – or up to 1.5 million scheduled to ship more than masks per month. 600 ventilators in April and almost half of the 30,000-unit Always Here, order will be filled by the end No Matter What of June. The full order will The auto industry was be completed by the end of built by people with a desire August, with the capacity to to overcome challenges. This build more ventilators after extends further than the history August if needed. of military manufacturing The safety of our or enabling the increase of employees and the community ventilator production. We’re is our number one priority. also making an impact within That’s why we are actively our communities. training employees at our GM has directed $2.6 Kokomo plant in the extensive million in grant funding to screening, cleaning and nonprofit organizations across other CDC-recommended the country, especially where GM employee prepares completed face masks at procedures as we ramp we have employee presence, GM facility in Warren, Michigan. up volume production of to address increasing critical Ventec Life Systems’ critical needs, including food care ventilator. Among the security, housing assistance, “We joined the fight employees is UAW Local elderly assistance, small 292 member Debbie Hollis of business support and at-home against the coronavirus Kokomo. education. because it’s the right “I have family all across This includes $1 million to the country, so (COVID-19) the DonorsChoose.org “Keep thing to do. And because has impacted everybody that Kids Learning” campaign that we believe our talent and I know and love,” Hollis said. will provide $1,000 credits for ingenuity can help the “I’m grateful that I get a chance teachers to send resources like to do my part and be a part of food, books, tech and more to world win this fight.” something...we are moderntheir students’ homes. day Rosie the Riveters.” General Motors is proud Mary Barra, CEO & Hollis and the production to stand with healthcare Chairman of GM team, which will grow to more professionals, governments, than 1,000 men and women, communities and individuals including people who already in this fight against work for GM and new hires from the Kokomo area, are COVID-19. And we will continue to also gaining hands-on exposure to Ventec’s ventilator. lend our ingenuity and support to the country, as well as the world, during Face Masks Also Needed this global crisis. RF The need for face masks has never been so important. In addition to a ventilator shortage, there is Hollyn Schuemann is Executive a critical need for face masks in hospitals and clinics Director of Federal Affairs for across the country. To help, we are using our Warren, General Motors. RIPON FORUM May 2020
ESSENTIAL CHANGES REQUIRED DURING TIMES OF CRISIS by HEATHER KENNEDY
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our country in ways we could have never imagined a few months ago. Since day one, The Home Depot has been committed to serving our community as an “essential” retailer, as homeowners and businesses depend on us for urgent needs such as hot water heaters, refrigerators, electrical and plumbing repairs, and harsh weather items like tarps, propane and batteries. 26
This is why the U.S. Department of Homeland Security included the home improvement industry and our related supply chains as “critical infrastructure” to the country. As such, The Home Depot’s paramount concern has been to operate in a way that protects the health and safety of our customers and associates. With nearly 2,000 stores in all 50 states, we have been focused on ensuring store managers across the country understand and implement state and local restrictions, as well as temporary changes the
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COMING TOGETHER company has proactively implemented nationwide. Children’s House at Johns Hopkins Hospital when Those have included closing the stores early to allow local ordinances limited them to only onsite food more time for cleaning and sanitization, limiting the preparation. Store associates located a hard-to-find number of customers allowed into stores at one time, chest freezer and delivered it within a day. placing social distancing signage and markers on the Unfortunately, this pandemic has not precluded floors, installing plexiglass shields at the registers, the early spring storm season and won’t divert the deploying curbside pickup options, stopping upcoming hurricane or wildfire seasons. One of the advertising and promotions that would drive non- reasons Home Depot is essential is that we supply essential traffic to our stores, and appointing social urgent supplies to prepare for and recover from distancing captains to remind customers to abide by natural disasters. In the midst of a surge of cases CDC guidelines. in Alabama, the Madison As the crisis unfolded fire station was damaged in March, we immediately by a tornado. We quickly took care of our people by connected with the Mayor implementing additional and Fire Chief, and within paid time off, so our older two days of the storm, we or medically vulnerable were able to help outfit associates could stay a temporary fire station home if needed. We with a washer and dryer also enhanced paid time and lockers. This helped off for all full-time and ensure that Madison first part-time associates, responders had clean awarded weekly bonuses, uniforms while on duty paid double overtime and would not have to and extended dependent take them home to wash care benefits to ease the following their shifts, uncertainty. We sent which could put their thermometers to every families at risk. associate to take their As our nation begins temperatures before to relax restrictions and reporting to work and have reopen, The Home Depot With nearly 2,000 stores provided non-medical face is committed to ensuring in all 50 states, we have masks and gloves for our customers and associates brave men and women feel comfortable getting been focused on ensuring working hard each day. back to business and store managers across the The safety and benefits shopping as safely country understand and changes outlined above as possible. For the allowed our “orangeforeseeable future, we implement state and local blooded” culture to thrive will continue to strive restrictions, as well as despite the fear and to flatten the curve by uncertainty. Our stores following CDC guidelines temporary changes the have donated millions such as social distancing company has proactively in protective equipment and enhanced sanitization, implemented nationwide. such as gloves, cleaning and above all, doing the supplies, and other right thing by taking care protective equipment of each other. in their local communities. We stopped the sale of Ann-Marie Campbell, EVP of U.S. Stores says, N95 masks and donated millions of dollars’ worth of “With the Apron comes a sense of pride and a sense masks and PPE to hospitals and first responders. Our of duty to take care of each other, to take care of our associates have done incredible things, like at store customers and to take care of our communities.” 6628 in Laguna Hills, CA, where an associate made We’ve never been more proud to wear the orange face shields in the breakroom using products from Apron. RF the aisles including plexiglass, weatherstrip tape and bungee ties, then posted the blueprint online. Our Heather Kennedy is Vice President of Government team in Baltimore, MD responded to the needs of the Relations for The Home Depot. RIPON FORUM May 2020
RESPONSE TO COVID-19 WILL MAKE US ALL STRONGER by RICK SCHOSTEK
Honda is utilizing its manufacturing capabilities to produce vital medical equipment and gear to help those battling COVID-19. Last month, Honda began building an entirely new product in our 40-year history of building things in America – diaphragm compressors for life-saving ventilators to help victims of COVID-19. This vital activity is underway in a training center we established five years ago to help our associates develop manufacturing skills for the future, now home to the latest initiative in our company-wide effort to help provide solutions to many of the challenges posed by this pandemic. I’m humbled to be part of a manufacturing enterprise that is working to find ways to join this fight, with each of our business lines – automobiles, power equipment, power sports and aircraft – offering unique solutions and 28
support. And I’m proud that our response focuses on three vital and immediate human needs. We are working to employ our manufacturing know-how to produce medical equipment to help those battling COVID-19, addressing food insecurity at a time when so many families are struggling, and enabling our associates to serve as ‘virtual volunteers,’ to help people in need. At the onset of the pandemic, Honda associates at our facilities in North America inventoried the Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, that we had on hand, and 10 Honda facilities have now donated more than 200,000 items to healthcare providers and first responders, including badly needed equipment such as gloves, face
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COMING TOGETHER shields, N95 protective masks, alcohol wipes, half-mask Mexico, to provide society’s most vulnerable with access respirators and other types of protective gear. to food. We also are conducting a special matching gift We then set about to harness our operations and program that enables Honda associates to make monetary the skills of our associates to create critical gear that donations to food programs in their local communities, is in short supply. We began by using 3D printers to with Honda matching up to $1,000 for each individual manufacture parts for face shields. Partnering with contribution. our supplier Stratasys, Ltd., associates at five different In addition to providing medical equipment to Honda facilities are using 3D printers to help make face healthcare providers and patients, and our pledge to shield frames for donation to healthcare facilities and address food insecurity, a third key part of our effort to first responders. At the same provide relief to communities time, a number of Honda during this uncertain time is engineers are applying their something we call “Virtual own ingenuity to develop a Volunteering.” new method of manufacturing Honda associates have face shield frames using a longstanding tradition of injection-molding technology community volunteerism, normally utilized to make boots on the ground types components for Honda and of efforts that includes the Acura vehicles. national Team Honda Week In Marysville, Ohio, of Service we conduct each we have transformed our summer with our suppliers Technical Development and dealers. With the advent Center into an assembly area of “social distancing,” Honda where associates are making associates are turning to Virtual compressors, developed by Volunteering to help people in Dynaflo, Inc. The compressor their own communities through is a key component of activities such as making critically needed medical non-medical grade masks, Rick Schostek ventilators that provide a conducting neighbor wellness constant source of air to checks by social media and stricken patients. With support other efforts that can be done I’m humbled to be part of from Dynaflo, we are working from home using a computer or a manufacturing enterprise toward a goal of producing other device. that is working to find 10,000 compressors a month. I have always found that This societal threat is difficult times, even tragic ones ways to join this fight, unprecedented in my lifetime like this COVID-19 pandemic, with each of our business and the realities of that are can bring out the best in people. sinking in. Our thoughts are Without question, what I am lines – automobiles, power with those who have been proud about with Honda’s equipment, power sports and most impacted by the coronavirus, response to this crisis is the aircraft – offering unique particularly those who are ill efforts of our associates, and and the thousands of families I am humbled by the efforts solutions and support. who have lost loved ones. of our team to support the This outbreak has impacted us community and our customers. all in one way or another. COVID-19 is an Right now, many people are struggling to provide unprecedented challenge for sure, but I have seen an meals for their own families. The largest network of unprecedented response as well from Honda associates, food banks in the U.S., Feeding America, projects a from the automobile industry and from good people gap of $1.4 billion in the next six months alone. So, as across the country. These contributions serve as we looked at how Honda might best contribute to the continued motivation to do even more. As a company, COVID-19 crisis, including advice we received from a and as a country, I believe these challenging times will number of our own nonprofit partner organizations, we make us stronger. RF identified food insecurity as a critical area to support. This led to our initial $1 million pledge to food banks Rick Schostek is Executive Vice President of Honda and meal programs across the United States, Canada and North America, Inc. RIPON FORUM May 2020
PHRMA MEMBER COMPANIES TACKLE COVID-19 FROM ALL ANGLES by MIKE YBARRA As someone who works both in the biopharmaceutical so that seriously impacted communities are receiving industry and as an emergency physician, I love being necessities like face masks, diagnostic tests, and other involved in two spaces that are playing critical roles in the medical supplies. Millions of dollars of direct monetary and COVID-19 response. I’m inspired by PhRMA member in-kind contributions are being used to support organizations companies who are stepping up to fight this crisis in the at the heart of the crisis who can have an immediate impact labs and living the principles we all set forth, like screening for infected patients and impacted communities. our vast global libraries of medicines to identify potential Biopharmaceutical manufacturers are also donating treatments and expanding our medicines that may be effective members’ unique in treating patients with manufacturing capabilities. coronavirus. These medicines, The biopharmaceutical which are approved for other industry is leaving no stone diseases, could decrease the unturned. burden of the virus on hospitals PhRMA members are by reducing the length and working around the clock severity of disease in patients. to research and develop new We’re also hearing from experts vaccines and treatments, as at our companies on topics well as test existing medicines like antimicrobial resistance to help those infected with and impacted vulnerable the virus. A number of populations during this time. treatments and vaccines are Finally, the in development, with more biopharmaceutical industry is than 650 clinical trials already donating time. Three companies underway. Researchers are recently announced that they are working on new antiviral empowering employees with Dr. Mike Ybarra medications to interfere with medical or laboratory expertise ways the virus infects cells and to completely or partially pause reproduces. Antibody-based their current roles and volunteer A number of treatments and drugs may be able to mobilize their medical skills to help their vaccines are in development, the immune system against local health care organizations. with more than 650 clinical the virus. Other treatments The companies will support being tested would help better their efforts by maintaining trials already underway. the members’ base pay and manage conditions that are providing full benefits. associated with coronavirus. I am proud that so many And companies are taking multiple approaches to find a vaccine, as more “shots on biopharmaceutical companies are working as hard as they can to solve this crisis as fast as possible. We need goal” will increase the chances of success. Companies are also exploring ways to leverage existing all companies collaborating to beat COVID-19. It’s not technologies that provide the ability to rapidly scale up company versus company rushing to be the first to market. production once a potential vaccine candidate or treatment Rather, we’re all united in the fight against this virus. And I RF is identified. And we are working with governments and think we can do it. insurers to ensure that when new treatments and vaccines are Dr. Mike Ybarra is an emergency physician in Washington, D.C. approved they will be available and affordable for patients. The industry is contributing to those on the frontlines by and Vice President of Medical Affairs and Strategic Alliances at providing medical supplies and personal protective equipment PhRMA. Learn more at PhRMA.org/coronavirus. 30
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BOATING IS MORE THAN FUN
It is an economic driver SUPPORTING AND
across America N M M A . O R G / A D V O C A C Y
NMMAÂ IS PROUD TO SUPPORT THE RIPON SOCIETY
Bringing a Long History of Innovation to the
FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19
by ADAM GLUCK
A Sanofi employee removes down vials from a conveyor. At Sanofi, our purpose is to discover breakthrough medicines and vaccines to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. This drive to transform the practice of medicine has taken on increased urgency for everyone in the Sanofi family since the global emergence of COVID-19. Sanofi is rapidly responding to the evolving challenge of COVID-19. Our responsibility to our employees and their families, patients and caregivers, health care providers, and communities drives us to act on our long history of innovation to bring cutting edge science and dedicated people to face this threat. We would like to take this opportunity to share our approach to this crisis. 32
We Are Leveraging Our Expertise in Vaccine Developmen Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business unit of Sanofi, is developing a COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). In addition to our work to develop a safe and effective vaccine utilizing proven recombinant technology, our partnership will also leverage an agreement signed last year to establish state of the art facilities in the United States for the sustainable production. BARDA and Sanofi Pasteur recently expanded this collaboration to accelerate into non-clinical studies and a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the
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COMING TOGETHER initial safety of the vaccine candidate. Most recently, Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced their collaboration in the fight against COVID-19. The companies signed a letter of intent to develop an adjuvanted vaccine for COVID-19, using innovative technology from both companies, to accelerate our collective opportunity to help address the ongoing pandemic. Additionally, Sanofi Pasteur and Translate Bio, a clinicalstage messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics company, are collaborating to develop a novel mRNA vaccine for COVID-19. This collaboration builds on an existing agreement between the two companies to develop mRNA vaccines for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. We are combining our deep vaccine expertise and support with Translate Bio’s mRNA platform to discover, design, and manufacture a number of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates. We believe pursuing multiple vaccines with different technologies, while preparing to manufacture at scale, gives Sanofi and our partners the best opportunity for success against COVID-19.
draw any conclusion over the clinical efficacy or safety of hydroxychloroquine (or chloroquine) in the management of COVID-19. Any use of this medicine in the management of COVID-19 is considered an off-label use (i.e. in absence of a marketing authorization for the indication of COVID-19). The World Health Organization (WHO) announced an international clinical trial to investigate the use of several medicines, including hydroxychloroquine, in the management of COVID-19. At Sanofi, we are doing our part to contribute. We have committed to donate 100 million doses of hydroxychloroquine to 50 countries around the world. We have initiated two clinical studies on hydroxychloroquine and are providing the medicine for free to investigator sites participating in the WHO trial as well as to other independent research centers.
We Are Exploring Digital Solutions Further adding to our ongoing efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple fronts, we have signed an agreement with Luminostics to evaluate a collaboration on a unique self-testing solution We Are Researching Existing for COVID-19. Luminostics Sanofi employees prepare equipment Products as Potential would contribute its proprietary assemblies to be used in the flu Treatments for COVID-19 technology for consumermanufacturing process. Sanofi is committed to making diagnostics for COVID-19 every effort to help countries testing while Sanofi would across the world, including the bring its clinical research testing We believe pursuing U.S., combat the coronavirus experience and capabilities. The multiple vaccines with outbreak. In March we announced goal is to provide a smartphonethe initiation of our global clinical based solution that eliminates different technologies, while trial program with our collaborator the current need for healthcare preparing to manufacture at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals professional administration evaluating Kevzara® (sarilumab) or laboratory tests. Based on scale, gives Sanofi and our in patients hospitalized with severe Luminostics’ existing technology partners the best opportunity COVID-19. Kevzara is a fullyand protypes, both companies for success against human monoclonal antibody that envision to start development inhibits the interleukin-6 (IL-6) activities in the coming weeks. COVID-19. pathway by binding and blocking Sanofi is continually the IL-6 receptor. Initial results assessing the global health from the Phase 2 U.S. trial were recently released and the implications of the COVID-19 virus – and our role in Phase 3 global trial is ongoing. The use of Kevzara to treat the addressing this challenge – and we remain committed to symptoms of COVID-19 is investigational and has not been working closely with global health fully evaluated by any regulatory authority. organizations and governments to Additionally, there have been increased questions minimize the risk and impact of around the use of hydroxychloroquine in the management of COVID-19. RF COVID-19 based on preliminary results from independent studies in different countries. Sanofi divested this medicine in Adam Gluck is Head of U.S. and the U.S. in 2013 but is one of the main manufacturers globally. Sanofi Genzyme Corporate Affairs for To date, there is insufficient clinical evidence to Sanofi U.S. RIPON FORUM May 2020
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DELIVERING HOPE WITH EVERY PACKAGE by MARCEL DUBOIS
There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a number of unprecedented changes, for individuals and for companies. Most Americans are sheltered in place, and many businesses, local and national, are struggling to survive as a result – developing plans to ensure employee safety, protect customers, and shift manufacturing and operating procedures all weigh heavily on executives and front-line workers alike. Changes are happening at UPS, too. For example, we’re no longer requiring signatures for any packages to be delivered, instead using other ways to verify a customer’s identity so that drivers and customers can maintain social distancing measures. We’ve implemented enhanced cleaning procedures in all of our facilities, and our vehicles are being cleaned more often, especially on door handles and other frequent touch points. While some UPSers are able to work from home, most are on the front lines where masks and gloves are available for all employees who are working in facilities or vehicles. In addition to protecting and supporting our own employees
and customers, we’re also providing resources to community organizations. The UPS Foundation has announced more than $21 million in local aid, and UPS has donated thousands of N95 masks and other supplies to first responders, healthcare workers and other front-line heroes, including local police and fire departments. Despite these changes, UPS drivers and pilots have been designated as essential services workers, and they continue to deliver critical healthcare supplies and everyday necessities. While some parts of their job are different, these service professionals haven’t waivered in their commitment to world-class customer service – or support for their fellow UPSers. For example, 33-year UPS driver Gina Cribbs out of Ft. Worth, Texas, went to her facility on a day that she wasn’t even working and cleaned more than 70 package cars for her coworkers who would soon be headed out on their routes. “I want to do my part to make sure we’re all a little bit safer,” Gina said. “We all need to work together to knock this thing out as
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COMING TOGETHER quickly as possible to help other people.” Another UPS driver, Jeff Rardin in South Holland, Illinois, recently assisted with a White House request to transport a large shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE) to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) distribution site. He talked about what it feels like to answer the call in our country’s time of need. “These supplies will potentially save someone’s life. And, they’ll help keep this virus from spreading. They’ll protect patients and the health care workers taking care of them. You just can’t put a price on that,” Jeff said. “I’m really excited UPS Freight was called on by the White House to expedite this shipment.” UPS driver Steve Lopez out of Long Beach, California, has also talked about what it’s like to deliver during a pandemic – especially to customers who feel like family because he has served the same route for more than two decades. “I’ve known these people for so many years. I’ve been to their weddings. I’ve been to their birthday parties,” Steve said when he was recently featured on Live With Kelly and Ryan. “One of my friends from the east coast had never heard of a piñata, so for their daughter’s first birthday I actually brought them a piñata so they could knock it out.” In a separate video, Steve talked about how important his role is to helping his customers – our communities – get through this crisis.
“We’re not cops, we’re not firemen, we’re not healthcare workers – doctors and nurses – but we are essential to getting people the items that they need dearly,” he said. “I’m not just delivering water and toilet paper. I’m delivering medical supplies, people’s prescription pills. So it makes me feel really proud of the company I work for and what a great job we are doing.” Customers and elected officials across the country have also recognized how important UPS’s work is for the economy and for everyday people in these unprecedented times. President Trump even invited UPS Freight driver Charlton Paul to his “Celebrating America’s Truckers” event. In talking to Fox News about that opportunity, Charlton also discussed what he’s taken away from the experience of delivering to the front lines of a global pandemic. “We’re Americans, we’re strong, and when it’s time to stick together, we put all our differences aside and we come together,” Charlton said. “We will win this war against this virus.” UPS drivers in brown trucks across the country are bringing hope to millions of Americans with every delivery they make. While the coronavirus continues to impact all facets of our everyday lives, one thing hasn’t changed at all: our customers are counting on us, and we’ll keep delivering for them. RF Marcel Dubois is the Senior Vice President of UPS Public Affairs and Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange Board Member
Astellas is deeply grateful
to our healthcare professionals and those on the front line who are stepping forward to help others aﬀected by the coronavirus pandemic. Their courage and unwavering service shines a light and inspires us. Among our eﬀorts, Astellas is helping non-proﬁt community and humanitarian organizations address the urgent needs of COVID-19 patients, healthcare workers and ﬁrst responders. We also remain committed to turning innovative science into medical solutions for a range of diseases that bring value and hope to patients worldwide. At Astellas, we’re focused on making changing tomorrow a reality. @AstellasUS
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For the USO, the war may be different, but the mission remains the same by by J.D. J.D. CROUCH II
At the USO, we say: “A strong America is a force for good in the world. And a strong military is necessary in the world we live in. The USO keeps our military strong by connecting them to family, home and country.” We are a global team, operating on five continents at more than 250 locations. Our mission of connection continues to be more critical than ever. So, how can the USO continue to be the Force Behind The Forces® of the five million active duty, Guard, Reserve and family members in the wake of COVID-19 — during a time of social distancing, quarantine and isolation -- when so much of the tempo of military life has changed? Our answer, “Change with it.” We set priorities: Protect our Force. Deliver our Mission. Enable our Partners. Plan for Change.
Protect Our Force Leadership requires recognizing what is most important and what must be protected at all costs. At the USO, that is our 600 employees and our 30,000 volunteers. Their personal health and safety remain our number one priority. But as important, without them, we cannot continue our mission. As the pandemic news hit, I kept asking myself, “What is the right thing to do for service members and their families?” We realized the USO could inadvertently become a vector for the spread of the virus among service members at one of our many airport locations and base centers. We determined we had to temporarily suspend traditional operations at these USO facilities and
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COMING TOGETHER pivot to a virtual global presence. our own USO team was looking for purpose, we found We understood there was a huge stress on the same desire among our partners. As a result, our employees and our volunteers. That stress was military leaders are now requesting new services and caused not just by wanting to be safe but also by wanting the reopening of our centers, our donors are leaning in, to continue their important work. People need and we are working across the military service sector to protection and purpose. We took steps to assure them lead and support. they were still needed and that enabled them to work from home or continue their field work supporting our troops. Plan for Change A critical lesson learned from the crisis is the As the magnitude of the pandemic sunk in, we near insatiable desire for communication. One of the resolved to document the many good things -- yes good most important things we things -- that had come from did was meet in virtual open it so we would not lose sight forums for our employees and of them when the new normal volunteers, so they had a direct arrives. line of communication with Surprisingly, working leadership. When there is a lack remotely -- and the virtual of communication, uncertainty communication channels and false information will fill required to do so -- broke down the void. organizational silos and formed new working relationships Deliver Our Mission across our operational teams We innovated rapidly, and headquarters. The need deploying safe distance and to collaborate quickly broke virtual programming platforms, down bureaucratic barriers that building on work we had should never have been there in begun before the pandemic. the first place. We are resolved Dr. J.D. Crouch II Our IT and global programming to keep them broken! teams are the real heroes in We didn’t know when our this effort. These platforms centers would reopen yet we As the pandemic news hit, I have enabled us to be there for began planning for it almost kept asking myself, “What quarantined service members in immediately. This allowed us Kandahar and Korea, military to think through what would is the right thing to do for medical personnel serving in change, what would stay the service members and New York and Los Angeles with same, and which of the new their families?” the hospital ships USNS Mercy innovations prompted by the and Comfort, sailors onshore crisis we wanted to strengthen. and aboard the USS Theodore As importantly, it gave Roosevelt in Guam, and National Guard soldiers all everyone on the team – me included! – confidence that over America responding to the COVID pandemic. We we will get through this together and that the “crisis” brought Martha Stewart to a virtual homebound crafts would one day end. party in which 18,000 unique viewers tuned in, enabled I am proud of the way our USO – a precious a young Air National Guardsman stranded in Erbil, Iraq American institution – has adapted and worked together to be “in the room” with his wife for the birth of their in these past weeks. Our organization has changed daughter, and threw two virtual baby showers featuring forever. But not our mission. Crisis is not new to the Heidi Murkoff and 63 expectant and new military USO — we have always been an organization “ready parents in Bavaria! to go to war.” But this one feels different. We will emerge stronger from this crisis knowing we overcame Enable Our Partners it together. Crisis is a time to strengthen your partnerships. You can read more in detail about how we mobilized We reached out to all of our key stakeholders – our and helped service members and military families being Governing Board, military and political leaders, base impacted by the outbreak at uso.org/coronavirus. RF commanders, many military support organizations and our supporters and donors – to communicate not just Dr. J.D. Crouch II is the 23rd President and Chief what we need, but what we are doing for our troops Executive Officer of the United Service Organizations and what we can do to support our partners. Just as (USO). 40
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