Chris of 3M and his daughter Erica had what may be one of the world’s most unusual perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic. He saw it from the supply lines, working to get 3M personal protective equipment to hospitals and hotspots where it was needed most. She saw it from the front lines, as a registered nurse in a hard-hit hospital.
The experience brought the two of them closer together and helped bring healthcare workers everywhere closer to their patients.
“You have to get close to patients to give your best care,” Erica says. “And you have to feel protected to do that.” That need for protection was a constant in Chris’s mind. “There were people on the front lines everywhere depending on our equipment. Including my daughter. As a father, you think about that.”
As the pandemic spread and the need for personal protective equipment (“PPE”) surged, Chris, a business development manager at 3M, raised his hand and volunteered to be the company’s point person on United States coordination with FEMA. This role included coordinating with 3M global operations. “Sitting on the sidelines is not what I’m about,” Chris says. “It’s not what the company is about.”
Chris and his team coordinated with governments, 3M manufacturing facilities, and 3M authorized distributors around the world, helping to direct the flow of N95 respirators and other critical pieces of PPE to the front lines. The team worked night and day. “The pandemic was a fast-moving target,” Chris explains. “Sometimes we were turning trucks around in the middle of the night to get the equipment where it needed to go.”
“I’m at work, seeing the data, logistics, the need to ramp up,” Chris says. “Meanwhile, my daughter’s on the front line. I can only imagine what she was going through. Knowing she could feel protected meant a lot to me.”
“Covid wasn’t in the nursing school textbooks,” Erica adds. “We had to learn the pandemic on the job.” The first thing she learned was that the more protected she felt in her PPE, the more comfortable she felt getting close to her patients.
“At the end of the day, feeling protected helped us give our best patient care,” Erica says. “Knowing that my dad was working endless hours to help make that happen, I’m just incredibly proud of him.” The pandemic isn’t over, but in these challenging times, people like Chris and Erica have helped make a difference in people’s lives. And 3M’s efforts to supply high quality PPE to those who need it most continues unabated. “My wife and I raised Erica and her sisters to never say the word can’t,” Chris says. “To believe that there is literally nothing you cannot do.”