I really want to thank Mayor Schewel and Greg for joining me today obviously our entire community right nowfaces a substantial challenge with coronavirus and it's important for us totimes of challenge to celebrate the incredible community we have the strongpartnerships and the difference that individuals community leaders and andcompanies like Cree are making at this time and so I'm really happy to be heretoday with with Greg and and Mayor Schewel to thank them both for the tremendoussupport they have shown to all of our health care workers and providerscertainly a Duke and across our region and in particular to thank Greg and histeam agreed for their incredible generosity in in providing DukeUniversity Health System with a really generous donation of twenty thousandprotective face masks for health care workers one of several of the absolutelyessential items that our team needs to protect themselves as they are carryingon the frontlines for patients that may be infected with or are infected withcorona virus we've all heard a great deal in the news media about thechallenge of personal protective equipment the difficulties in obtainingit right now as it's in such great demand and to have partners like a cityof Durham and county of Durham and like Cree stepped forward to help us obtainwhat we need has just been fabulous so so Greg thank you so much for yourgenerosity and I can tell you our team of twenty thousand-plus here reallyappreciate what you've done to help us.
Well thanks a lot and we we're delightedto be a participant in this activity and more importantly to be a part of thiscommunity yeah I reached out to the Mayor and the Mayor Schewel will you knowimmediately connected us together it was very very quick and and I just find itin these times that are kind of troubling for a lot of different peopleI find it inspiring to see everyone kind of coming together for a common causeand really helping helping those that are really helping us and your team andDuke is certainly at the front line of this epidemic and you know keepingkeeping your folks safe is going to help keep everybody else safe so thanks toyou and and your team for that and to Mayor Schewel I really appreciate thespeed at which we connected and we were able to do this it's been great workingwith the with the city as well and I think you're doing a very great jobinspiring everyone and inspiring everyone also to keep social distanceand you know stay safe.
Well thank you so much Greg and Tom you know being in acommunity with hospital and a health system like Duke is just amazing thereare so many cities and communities across the country that wish they had ahospital and a health system like Duke University we are so grateful for thework that you all do Tom and I know that you're really on the front lines now andwe're expecting our surge of cases to calm our peak in the next ten days or soten days to two weeks and and the peak in hospitalization to follow that andthe fact that you all are there doing the work you're doing is amazing.
I willsay that while I'm glad to be on this panel all I did was make a couple ofphone calls.
Greg called me and you can imaginemy surprise when he said that and pleasure when he said that that creamnot only wanted to donate twenty thousand and ninety five masks but theywere already in Durham.
And and of course I called Duke right away and they werethrilled so that is that was the exact extent of my part of this taking onephone call and making another but just to be able to be the conduit for thisamazingly generous gift was a privilege and as you all have said being a part ofthis community that's working so hard to come together whether it be volunteeringto feed our school children or people staying at home so thegift everybody else right now socially distancing wearing a face mask whenyou're out washing your hands all those things are really contributions to thehealth of not only of yourself but others.
But this this gift really symbolizes I think the generosity of our communityand and I just want to thank Cree and Greg so much for this.
You knowSteve I would I want to echo again Greg's comments about your leadershipthough you have done a wonderful job of bringing our community together caringfor each other in providing for the vulnerable members of our community andhelping support so many that are effectively all of us that have beenaffected by changes in how we work changes in school we have a rich anddiverse community and the way they have stepped forward to care for each otheris truly remarkable and I appreciate your leadership in that and you know aswe were preparing for this we had a chance a little bit to compare somenotes and you know I was again commenting about how fortunate we are tohave that the diverse community we we have in a variety ways including the thebusinesses and an academic entities we have here that have had some experiencesfrom other parts of the world and and Greg I wonder if you'd be willing toshare some of the comments that you made before about Cree's experience it wasremarkable that you had these masks available and could share them with usbut I think with your team in China just like our Duke team in China you'velearned some things that it may be valuable sharing as well about what it'sbeen like now to manage this through your team in China now and now here atDurham.
We'll sure Tom appreciate that so um we have a couple thousand people inChina during the Guangdong province of China they manufacture products for usand in one of our facilities over there and of course China got hit probablylate December and it really started to ramp up in the January time frame rightaround Chinese New Year and so of course all of our folks were put on lockdownand quarantine and going through kind of the same kinds of things that we'regoing through here of course they went through it first and we put a lot ofprocedures in place including you know the facemask and so forth hand-washing sanitizing wiping down all those thingsin place in China it really gave us kind of a real nice blueprint for what to dohere and in fact the reason we were able to get those masks was we were we weregetting those masks for our Chinese operation and that we we determined thatreally the N95 s really weren't working for the employee base it were reallybetter for medical practitioners so as soon as the breakout happened here wetook those those materials that we had in China we shipped them over to ourfacility and you know you know Mayor Schewel said you know not only did we havethe masks but we had him here like waited until they physically got herebecause I didn't want to promise something and then not deliver so so wewe waited and waited and finally got him through customs and got him to ourfacility and literally I think that afternoon was when we got in contactwith each other I think the next day they were in the hands of your folks soyou know having that experience in China and and so forth actually is helping ushere we now have a lot of different procedures that we put in placetemperature screening face masks things like that to help our own employees staysafe in this environment.
We've had a similar experience with our campus inChina and actually also seeing that there is another side to this that wecan't look past the coming days as Mayor Schewel said we need to be prepared weneed to continue to practice social distancing effective hand hygiene tofollow those Public Health recommendations to keep our ourselvesand our family safe in the community but we will get through this togetherand we're confident of that it will take weeks or months but we will get throughthis together and I think both of our organizations are seeing that now withour campus in China and your operation there that we will get back to a newnormal although it will take time and there'smuch more to come in the coming weeks.
I will add one other comment Mayor Schewel andGreg and I were talking about how things have changed so quickly how we've movedto communicate now virtually like this this is one ofmy first panels like this would Zoom and always trying to find the the brightside of even crises like this I do think certainly I've learned a lot andas a team here at Duke we've learned a lot about how we can interact with ourteam and our patients more effectively virtually we're doing more video visitsand virtual visits than ever before and I do think again looking at for someglimmers of hope from this that's going to help us deliver even better healthcare over the coming months and years as we figured out very quickly how tointeract with patients where travel or the time and burden of travel may nothelp them in a health care encounter so that's that's one positive thing.
Greg Ithink you commented as well it's been helpful in your business to acceleratesome of the use of virtual interaction is that right absolutely you know I waschatting with some of our worldwide sales folks early this morning and youknow they they said ironically they're having more customer meetings and youknow it feels ironic at first because you think how is that happening wellwhat they used to do is drive to a customer meet with them get back intheir car drive to another customer and in California that might take an hour togo from customer to customer and you hear what they're doing now is they'rejust simply having a having a Zoom meeting or a Teams meeting or one ofthese platforms and and it's working out really well and so you know your yourteam is is expanding you know virtual interaction with patients werevirtually interacting with with customers and Mayor I'm sure this isgoing to be an opportunity for for the city to have more interaction withcitizens you know as well on platforms like this I'm sure there's a lot moreactivity there as well.
Yeah that's absolutely right we are this afternoonwe're having a work session which of course we normally meet in person thisbut we'll be meeting virtually we had our council meeting virtually Mondaynight we're figuring out how to take public comment effectively I haven'tquite gotten that to where we want it to be but all of these things are we'relearning a lot through this and that that knowledge is gonna benefitall of us for sure.
The one thing that's kind of funny though is it used to be ifyou took a call at home and your dog barked in the background that was like abig shaming kind of thing and today it's kind of a badge of honor from that perspective.
That's very true I still need to do some work on my Zoombackgrounds though I've not mastered the art of let's just say extraordinary Zoombackgrounds like some of our team members have their creativity hasdefinitely come through in this time as well if I could again just offer reallyheartfelt gratitude to Mayor Schewel to Greg and the entire team at Cree and theentire team here in City of Durham and County for just extraordinarypartnership not just with this generous gift of event N95 masks to protect ourteam but with what you're all doing every day to care for our community toensure their health to bring our teams together to find ways to work throughthis crisis together I've never been more proud to be a part of the communityof Durham a part of the team here at Duke and the team of leaders with Gregand Mayor Schewel and others thank you so much for all you're doing.
Thank you Tom and thank you to you Greg for your extraordinary gift.
Well thanksa lot and to both of you for your great leadership and in this time people needthey need a path and I think you're giving them a path but they also need abright light at the end of the tunnel and I think we've got both of thosethings coming our way I just offered to you both once we're through this and wecan get something closer than six feet away from each other would get out andraise a glass and say thanks to each other and congratulations and andcontinue the partnership.
That sounds great thank you again thank you all havea great day guys thank you.