Thank You “Testing for Tomorrow” Partners
In late March 2020, the streets of New York City were deserted. The COVID-19 pandemic had driven people to shelter in place. Fear, confusion, and uncertainty were the feelings shared by most Americans as we all reflected on how far from "normal" we had moved in just a few days. Those working in the healthcare industry and profession sought to contribute to address the pandemic in any way possible, from practices donating personal protective equipment to hospital ERs, to providers taking the overflow of non-acute care patients, and many more examples.
As a central stakeholder and catalyst for collaboration within the healthcare ecosystem, we at Henry Schein, Inc. actively engaged at every level to support pandemic response, both visibly-like supporting the supply chain to ensure uninterrupted care delivery-and behind the scenes. One important largely unseen initiative was a coalition-building program to augment point-of-care (POC) diagnostic testing capabilities and knowledge, identify resources, and gather information that would guide capacity-building work, including the benchmarking of best practices. The creation, convening, and activation of this network of trusted partners is one of the silver linings of the pandemic.
Leveraging close working relationships forged over many decades, and with the leadership of Dr. Michael Alfano, Executive Vice President Emeritus at New York University, and Dr. Bruce Donoff, the recently retired Dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Henry Schein convened a cohort of interdisciplinary academic medical and dental faculties to evaluate the utilization of rapid POC diagnostic testing in community settings. Our goal was to enable widespread and informed clinical usage.
Initially meeting weekly and now monthly, the work on the Testing for Tomorrow (T4T) Collaborative has always been done with the highest level of trust, comradery, and commitment. And as we look back on more than a year of working together to fight the pandemic, all of us at Henry Schein want to thank our partners-many of whom have devoted years of their careers to advancing healthcare integration and created articles for this special project-for their generous and selfless contribution of time and talent. (See p.318 for a list of T4T participants.)
The old proverb "necessity is the mother of invention" perfectly describes the T4T initiative. As we continue to address and emerge from the pandemic, Henry Schein looks forward to its continued partnership in expanding POC testing within community-based primary care medical and dental practices and other health facilities across the country, with the objectives of improving patient outcomes and lowering healthcare costs.
Thank you again to our Testing for Tomorrow coalition partners!
Stanley M. Bergman
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Henry Schein, Inc.