The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

“I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous.”
-HIPPOCRATIC OATH

I am not a doctor.

But for the past 25 years I have worked every day driven by one goal: Do the best job to represent the interests of this membership. On most days and on most issues, that objective is clear. On other days, like today, it is a humbling goal to meet.

MMAC membership is spread across thousands of employers, diverse by size, industry, and county. But as a membership you are united under a vision to support a globally competitive economy that delivers high-value employment to support a vibrant quality of life for all. For the past 158 years, business leaders of MMAC have endeavored to reach this vision, through a civil war, the Spanish Flu, two world wars, 9/11 and countless recessions. Enter COVID-19.

How best to represent the membership?

First LEARN. Draw on the experience of our health care members and employers who have faced this crisis in other countries/states. Second, ASSESS. Consult a diverse team of CEOs from small, midsize and larger employers across industries (a subset of the board elected by the membership) and evaluate the best available information. And third, LEAD. Respond, communicate and take the actions necessary that balance the health risks with the economic risks of the coronavirus. It has been and it will continue to be a challenge to find the right path forward.

We have provided input to the governor, mayor and other elected officials. We are supportive of the current “Safer at Home” order – and pleased that because of the input we provided, this order is more flexible than “Shelter in Place” orders seen in other states, while still addressing the public health goals of those more rigid policies.

Will a return to business as usual before the worst of the medical crisis has passed do even more long-term damage to our economy? MMAC’s position is to balance the risk of an unmanageable spike in hospitalization, and the danger to health care’s patient-facing workforce, while keeping employers open and operating with the best employee care practices. We are informed by the experiences of and concerns from our health care leaders — the front line facing the risk. At the same time, the concerns of employers small and large on the front lines of the economy are at the forefront of these policy discussions. We are navigating to expediently and responsibly pursue recovery in the next normal. We are optimistic that, in the end, the aggressive policies taken this week will result in a quicker return to full economic activity.

We understand the tension between policy that cripples business as usual, and policy that could expose more citizens to significant health consequences. There are members pulling on both ends of this tension line, and they do not come labeled by size or industry. We are working to find ways to keep businesses open without discarding community health concerns. We are digging for the facts, striving to represent your views and putting them front and center for policy makers, employers and their employees so we achieve “a vibrant quality of life for ALL.”

The value of a community of business leaders has never been more relevant than it is today. I am proud to see the network of MMAC members working to support and serve each other. I know we will come through stronger together.

Thank you. I welcome your feedback: [email protected]

See our website for a robust array of best and next practices:
mmac.org/coronavirus.html.

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