For Bill Stilwell, the ongoing pandemic has upended much of his daily routine—and brought an entirely new perspective to his role. For nearly a decade, the Materials Management team leader for equipment and special projects has been used to directing the daily flow of items such as personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies across a prescribed list of campus locations from the White, Gray, Wang and Yawkey buildings, to a host of off-site locations.
With COVID-19 afoot, and arrival at the hospital requiring new protocols, Stilwell now keeps track of maintaining the inventory needed at each of the entrances across Massachusetts General Hospital, making sure there are plenty of Sani Wipes, tie down masks and pediatric masks handy for visitors and patients. Additionally, the hospital’s response to the pandemic means he is coordinating shipments of other PPE to many different locations which Materials Management, prior to COVID-19, didn’t ship to. On top of this, Stilwell still maintains much of his regular day-to-day duties managing the daily flow of other supplies to and from campus.
“Each day, the main part of my routine is now related to the pandemic and I think we are still climbing this difficult mountain as clinicians work to better understand the virus,” says Stilwell, who has worked tirelessly to help in any way he can. Yet while he adapts to so much change around him—as so many have throughout the Mass General community—Stilwell has felt the pandemic hit his close-knit team directly. “The one thing that sticks out in my experience during this time, is the number of people in our department overcome by this virus. Thankfully, most have recovered successfully, but one of the associates I’m quite close to has been out since March recovering from COVID.”
I hope we can reflect on this not just with somber reflection for those we have lost, but with personal stories of kindness and hope, because that’s really the most important thing we can rely on right now to help move forward.
Bill Stilwell Materials Management, Mass General
While seeing colleagues fall ill has been a sobering experience, Stilwell remains positive. “It is amazing to see the numbers of people who have done so much to keep the focus on patient care. Because of all these new duties, I have been blessed to meet so many people throughout the hospital I wouldn’t normally have interacted with. We’ve all been able to support each other and exact kindness despite the stressful situation we all find ourselves in.”
Continues Stilwell, “COVID-19 definitely shows the importance of our first responders and it’s deeply satisfying to know I’m helping these efforts in some small way. And, someday, I hope we can reflect on this not just with somber reflection for those we have lost, but with personal stories of kindness and hope, because that’s really the most important thing we can rely on right now to help move forward.”