Coping With A Pandemic: BakerHostetler's Charlene McGinty

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Law360 (April 22, 2020, 5:55 PM EDT) --
Charlene McGinty
Charlene McGinty
With distancing and isolation the new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Law360 is sharing reactions from around the business and legal community.

Today's perspective comes from Atlanta-based Charlene L. McGinty, a partner at BakerHostetler focusing on health care law and regulatory compliance, including transactional and operational work.

What challenges has the pandemic created in your specific area of work?

As a health care lawyer, I've become used to dealing with a myriad of laws and regulations that affect my clients. However, in this pandemic, the changes in the health care space have come at what seems a rapid-fire pace, with fundamental and unprecedented changes being made in how care is delivered, where services can be delivered, how care is paid for, and how supply chains need to be reinvented or replenished.

These changes need to be synthesized and operationalized by clients in real time while they are on the front lines dealing with the health care and public health aspects of the pandemic. In some instances, guidance is outdated by the end of the day and clients need to step back and rethink decisions and processes that were in place only hours before.

Despite the challenges, I'm getting an up-close-and-personal look at what our health care system and providers can and will do to care for patients and serve their communities.

How are you and your family adapting at home?

We are making it work and are enjoying spending time together, although I think our pets are not happy with all of us being at home all the time now. Our youngest daughter has shifted to "teleschooling" and still seems to be learning, although I'm sure there will be a lot of review when she starts seventh grade next year. FaceTime is now a staple of her day as she keeps up with her friends.

As a lawyer, shifting to remote work can be done fairly easily, and our firm has done a tremendous job of supporting an almost total remote workforce platform. So, from a work standpoint, work continues.

From a personal standpoint, working remotely has a lot of pluses: more home-cooked meals, although we are still supporting our favorite local restaurants with our fair share of takeout orders; baking cookies (from scratch) with our youngest daughter; listening to our youngest daughter's voice lessons via FaceTime; checking up on our oldest daughter as she shelters at home in a different state; catching up with family and old friends across the country; and, last but not least, no Atlanta commute!

What is the most creative or productive response to the crisis you've witnessed so far?

Keeping up a sense of comradery and connectedness while working remotely can be challenging. To do so, we have instituted video chat meetings and coffee breaks, weekly contests such as favorite song/movie/family photos, as well as frequent touchpoints to keep up to date and connected.

The dedication of hospitals and the physicians, nurses, first responders and all other providers on the front line dealing with patients is inspiring. Also, seeing companies and businesses step up and retool their operations to manufacture items that are needed by our health care system to fight this pandemic is truly amazing.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization, its clients, or Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

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