Lisa, a registered nurse who currently serves as CEO of Santa Cruz Surgery Center, says when six Bay Area counties officially ordered residents to shelter in place on March 16, “I gotta tell you, my initial instincts were to send an email to the board of directors saying I’d come in to the center after hours. But that wasn’t sitting right. I wanted to be there to help.” And since there was a possibility of her interacting with ill patients and then becoming a carrier of coronavirus, she rented a place away from her family to keep them safe.
That left Quentin working from home with the kids. “It’s been a big challenge.”
While working (remotely, for now) as the head of QWCooper, a boutique law firm serving tech companies, he is also de-facto teacher as his children transition to remote learning. Five kids are home—ages 8, 10, 14, 17, 20—and oldest son, 22-year-old Owen, is currently quarantining with roommates in San Diego where he attends college.
Lisa’s surgery center is not a hospital, so the number of surgeries there have dropped to only urgent cases. Lisa has been working to help local hospitals in their efforts to combat COVID-19. In mid-April, for example, “We had 130 medical professionals come to our parking lot to do drive-by testing for antibodies to the virus,” she says. Her clinic has also been volunteered as an alternative site to house coronavirus patients in case hospitals become overwhelmed.
As CEO, she’s had to address the needs of her center’s staff, the majority of whom are effectively out of work while only the most essential surgeries are performed. “We immediately gave them as much PTO as we could, we’ve told them all that their health care benefits will be in place through May,” she says, noting that the clinic is facing cash flow issues in the near future if work restrictions are not relaxed soon. “So all these things are keeping me up right now.”
Personally, it’s been tough, too, she says. “It was the first time in 28 years I wasn’t with Quentin on his birthday. And I missed Easter with the kids.”