This week, Vinfen President & CEO Bruce Bird was interviewed by OPEN MINDS founder Monica E. Oss, M.S., about the lessons learned while guiding Vinfen through the COVID-19 crisis. 

In the article, “Finding Opportunity In Adversity: Leadership Lessons From The COVID-19 Crisis,” Dr. Bird outlines how the strength of Vinfen’s relationships have improved its crisis response. “At Vinfen, the long-standing partnerships with other health and human services agencies and our relationships with government entities helped us make the case for the support that was needed during the crisis,” Dr. Bird said. 

Oss stressed how leadership’s ability to rapidly problem-solve allowed Vinfen to act decisively to protect staff and persons served. “Vinfen runs more than 180 residential facilities […] in COVID-19 hotspots like Boston, Lowell, and Lawrence in Massachusetts—and has seen more than 100 “medically fragile” [persons served] and 80 staff contract the coronavirus (most are recovering now),” Oss wrote. Not only are many of the people Vinfen serves more vulnerable to COVID-19, but as essential workers, Vinfen staff are likewise susceptible. 

To address this serious risk, Vinfen mobilized quickly to safeguard the people we serve and staff by developing new protocols for embedding staff in their residences during the crisis. This reduced the possibility of additional infections in their facilities or staff members’ homes. By merit of an already strong relationship with the government, Vinfen was able to successfully work with the State to increase the availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), mobile testing, and hazard pay for those on the frontlines. 

To learn more about Vinfen’s ongoing COVID-19 response, visit our website

Special thanks to Monica E. Oss and the OPEN MINDSteam for highlighting Dr. Bruce Bird and the Vinfen team, alongside fellow health and human services organizations Liberty Resources and COPA Health

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