Leadership during COVID-19: Gabe Monck
As we all collectively endure and find new ways to navigate life during a global pandemic, there are a few folks who have stepped up and, like a lighthouse, are providing crucial guidance during times of unprecedented uncertainty. One such beacon of leadership in the New York and Pennsylvania region has been our State Operations Manager, Gabe Monck.
The healthcare waste management services provided by Daniels Health directly impact the ability of clinicians to provide compliant care. That being said, our teams are made up of humans who are doing their best to process our new coronavirus-impacted reality while continuing to provide an exceptional and necessary service to healthcare facilities. Our Northeast Teams are fortunate to have Gabe as their manager, cheerleader, and general person who is in the trenches with them, ensuring each day holds meaningful work.
I chatted with Gabe to see how he has successfully led a team during the COVID-19 crisis and to generally hype him up because, well, he deserves it!
Hey Gabe, for the folks reading who aren’t familiar, can you describe your role at Daniels and a bit of what you do?
"I am the State operations manager for Pennsylvania, New York and surrounding states. I have been with Daniels for over 7 years during which time I have matured to the leadership position I hold now.
As a leader of a business unit, my priority is to keep
the our team of employees in Easton Pennsylvania safe and working. My day to day varies greatly. I do my best to support the team which means sometimes I own the roles of customer service, transport and logistics, general problem solver, waste handler, IT guru… you get it, lots of hats."
How would you describe the importance of maintaining an operational Business Unit during this time?
"Many businesses are calling themselves critical during the pandemic, but Daniels Health is truly essential. If we are not doing our jobs, the hospitals cannot do theirs. We are the unseen partner of our customers; we keep the cogs greased so they do not have to worry about medical waste management or service demands. We want them focused on patient care and their own wellbeing as much as possible."
Have you all had a lot of requests from local healthcare facilities you service? How have their requests or needs changed with the pandemic?
"We have seen both sides of the coin. Some small facilities have had to close their doors for now because their services are not essential during this time; while other partners have doubled or tripled the volume of biohazardous waste they are generating. We are proud that we could not only handle this for them but also have the prepared capacity to manage influx of waste. Providing consistent service is essential to our customers’ safety."
How have you kept your team updated on COVID-19 developments that impact their roles?
"Operational leads hold daily debriefings with all supervisors, who then pass the information along to their Business Unit employees. I also try and touch base with every employee on a daily basis to check in on how they are feeling and let them know what is going on."
What kind of safety measures are you and your team taking to uphold safety and ensure protection?
"Per CDC protocol, all drivers and operational staff are wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), washing/sanitizing hands frequently, and observing safe distancing measures. We are also working with healthcare facilities to ensure our staff are following servicing procedures that fit their on-site safety protocols."
Who else have you seen step up and be a real leader during this time for our business? What have they done that really made you proud?
"I would like to recognize every single employee in this company who is still coming in to do this job. It is not easy to begin with, but to know that we have a pandemic going on, and they are still here, day in and day out, it is amazing to see."
And how are you being supported? What have other operational leaders done that has helped you during this time?
"The support staff have been great. I would like to thank Brad Antonacci and our warehouse staff for keeping us stocked up with all the extra supplies we have been requesting, it makes a huge difference."
It’s easy to become overwhelmed, none of us expected we’d have to learn how to function through a global pandemic. How are you keeping morale up at the business unit?
"At the business unit, we had a cookout in the early days, but unfortunately with the social distancing we are not going to be doing much of that in the future. We are just trying to keep things light and fun while knowing that what we are dealing with is very serious."
What have you done personally to keep your spirits up? Have you and your family invented any new, silly games? Taken up baking bread?
"DISC GOLF! This was a passion of mine before all of this started, but I am still going out and playing. Thankfully, it is a self-competitive sport that can be played in a park alone; however, a lot of courses are being pulled. The good news is that a friend of mine has borrowed some baskets from me and other folks and set up a course at his house that we can use – while standing 6 feet apart of course."
We want to thank Gabe for his dedication to his team, to Daniels, and to the healthcare community. His passion for service and leadership goes unparalleled and we are fortunate to have him running our Northeast operations.
If you are reading this and interested in joining a team with a strong service spirit, our open roles can be found here.