The Future After Coronavirus: You Are The Leaders!

Howard Hindin, DDS

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing to you because you are pioneers and leaders. You have followed a path of courageous learning and energetic dedication to expand your knowledge, practices and treatment options to offer those your serve. You have recognized the need to move from “silo” practicing to progressive and precision interdisciplinary collaboration. In the post coronavirus world, patients will seek out the care you have dedicated yourself to provide, not only because of who you are and what you believe in, but also because they too are recognizing the care you offer will be the care that will serve them best. You will be the leaders of a refocused healthcare system. Let me explain further.

We are now entering a week where we are told the trajectory of coronavirus numbers will be exponentially increasing; yet, at the same time there is clear and compelling evidence that the pandemic spread and increase in numbers of new cases in some areas in the US are flattening. While we diligently continue to protect ourselves, our families, and our patients from exposure, we can also take time to reflect back on the past weeks and analyze the success and failures of our individual and collective response to the pandemic. Two primary sources of failure and delayed response time center on (1) Lack of a connected healthcare system and (2) Failure to have adequate stockpiles of necessary resources.

It has become all too clear that, our systems of pharma, medical organizations, hospital systems, and private practitioners across all spectrums of medicine and dentistry are disjointed and disconnected. The shortcomings of these non-communicating and archaic systems are now becoming clearly evident in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Finally, after several weeks and much scrambling we are seeing the beginning of the establishment of communication and supply chain pathways to move resources efficiently and quickly to needed areas.

Additionally, our home-based stockpiles of equipment, supplies, and medication were woefully inadequate, and in some places nonexistent in spite of strong suggestions from the scientific and medical community that another epidemic was inevitable. We have cavalierly outsourced production of essential materials necessary to secure our public safety and healthcare needs to other countries. Yet at the same time, our government proudly proclaims that we are now “energy independent”, all the while turning a blind eye to our essential public healthcare needs.

Despite the obvious bad news, the good news is this crisis has shown we do have the capability to address these issues directly and expediently. Hopefully we will use the memory of our current situation as motivation to make sure we are better prepared in the future.

This is the mandate for our government and public officials. However, we too have our marching orders for the post pandemic world to address these issues but in a different way. I encourage you and all true leaders to consider the following:

Disconnected and Disjointed Systems – Join with other leaders to participate in and promote collaboration within your own discipline and with other disciplines. Realize the importance of community! Our successful practices take so much of our time and energy. This pandemic moment makes it clear we must reserve some of our time and energy for our organizations and community.

Disconnected Communications – This has been further compounded by the increasing number of integrated healthcare organizations that have sprung up with competing conference schedule times and with similar speakers and topics. This division weakens our message to the point it is voiced in hundreds of whispers instead of one louder, clearer voice. This needs to change.

Stockpiling – As our healthcare system works to stockpile adequate resources for the future, together we must lead the effort to ensure that important internal resources are stockpiled for all. Everyone should have the knowledge and care to maintain inventories that include a fine tuned modulated immune system, an optimal airway, a system free of chronic inflammation, and adequate energy reserve fuel for optimal nutrition and oxygen for the optimal function of every cell. All should be able to move freely, sleep well and have peace of mind and body. Research should expand the use of resources such as stem cell and peptide therapy to aid in reducing the burden of chronic inflammation and chronic disease, which will lead to increased risk of severe disease and fatality in the next pandemic.

Dealing effectively with these issues today offers the possibility for a longer and better quality of life where all can reach their full potential.

You are the leaders, teachers and caregivers of the post pandemic world. As leaders, I call upon you to step up to the challenge and opportunities in the post pandemic world. You can do it! You must do it! And with collaboration, we can do it better together! I call upon you to offer your knowledge and experience, join with others of your organization and extend your reach to other organizations. Learn together how to collaborate effectively to develop optimized outcomes now and in preparation for the crises of the future. Accept your responsibility as first responders so we can better meet existing and future challenges. If we do this together and do it well, we can also reverse current reversible conditions and illnesses presently hijacking our health and quality of life. We haven’t a minute to lose.

Howard G. Hindin, DDS
President, AAPMD