Pandemic insights from a public health director

By Justine Rodriguez, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center

San Bernardino County Director of Public Health, Corwin Porter, was brought in as a director midstream pandemic and did not miss a step. He navigated through the crisis by practicing self-care techniques such as walking, getting enough sleep, staying involved virtually with his church and spending quality time with his family. 

In his role as Public Health Director, Corwin said he allowed as many folks as he could to do their normal jobs. He also made sure to share ideas and issues with his team. Information was shared through different channels such as video, newsletters and zoom. 

He maintained employee engagement and morale by leading through example, sharing praise, wins and encouragement. Corwin also encouraged staff to take time off when possible. He also shared growth opportunities for staff throughout the pandemic.

Interim Public Health Officer

Erin Gustafson, M.D., San Bernardino County Interim Public Health Officer, personally navigated the crisis by exercising, supporting her co-workers, getting enough sleep, and connecting with her family virtually. 

Dr. Gustafson’s team engaged in regular communication with stakeholders such as school districts and universities, and showed appreciation of county partnerships. Her team also engaged with marginalized populations, such as Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander and African Americans during this difficult time.

Dr. Gustafson said she maintained morale by recognizing her employees, not taking things personally and communicating often.

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