Why I started Red Barn Advisory and Red Barn Healthcare.
On April 15, 2020, I was hit with two pieces of news that I think many people are dealing with during this pandemic. At breakfast, I was told that a friend was given last rites on a ventilator as a result of their battle with Corona virus, COVID-19. That same afternoon, I learned that a friend who was a hardworking, imaginative and crazy but altruistic business man who owned and operated a collection of service businesses ranging from car services and restaurants to potential biodiesel plants to help Africa, dropped dead of a heart attack while dealing with the stress of his small businesses being shut down by the government. The combined stress of worrying about his employees and their families and his businesses potential collapse took its ultimate toll.
My reaction that day was, “How did we get here? How do we get out of this?”
The following day I received a phone call from a business friend, who always finds himself on the leading edge. He relayed an incredible story of a call his group received in the past few days regarding a possible rapid COVID-19 test kit. I did not even know such a thing existed. Actually, it did not exist prior to this pandemic. It was part of a new batch of diagnostic tool kits that are emerging at light speed across the globe as anyone who has a testing and diagnostic lab joins together from a health standpoint, yet separately from a commercial standpoint to develop tools to deal with the current situation.
After the news of the previous day, this was an amazing way for me to do something.
I asked how I could help. He tasked me with spreading the news about the tool kit; thereby, letting my network know I had a potential tool and path forward.
I spent the next 3 days tapping into leading experts in the healthcare world nationally and then globally to educate myself on whether this could be a helpful tool. I quickly learned that this had the potential to help hospitals get their patients comfortable with returning to their buildings and health care provider sites, provide employers a tool to determine whether employees were able to come back to work or should continue to remain in shelter, educational systems to learn who on their teaching and overall staff can come back to campus along with students.
What I have learned:
First, I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL, although I did pull out a few ingrown toenails at one of the Hospitals in Dublin as a premed student. But that is a story for later.
Second, the world economy has been shut down by governments across the globe which is the polar opposite from the 2008-09 crisis when every effort was made to keep the economy going. This is resulting in small business being driven to the point of collapse and government aid programs at an unprecedented scale in my or my parent’s lifetime.
The birth of the Mission Statement: GET BACK TO WORK
What have I learned over the course of the next 12 days of close to 24 hours of round the clock discussions with health care systems ranging from Chairman of the Boards of Hospitals to Presidents of Hospitals, to Surgeons at leading University Hospitals, to Emergency Room Physicians in one of the first do not travel areas in the United States, to heads of COVID response teams at transportation companies, to friends that operate some of the largest managed care platforms in both the United States and Europe, with business friends that have direct lines to Health Ministries in African nations (who have experience with previous shutdowns due to epidemics of EBOLA and AIDS) where you need a travel permit to even leave your home, to friends in Moscow where you can be arrested with possibility of 5 years of prison for violating quarantine, and finally to friends who have restaurants, hair salons, bars, car racing teams, event spaces, sports teams, clothing stores, farms that supply the restaurant industry, and just too many to list here that are feeling the effects of the pandemic. Yes, that is an exhausting sentence.
Red Barn Advisory was formed because there is a need for tools to get people back to work and reopen the economy globally, nationally and locally.