FISH! in the face of COVID-19

Published On: April 14, 2020Categories: Blog

FISH! in Healthcare


As a former CEO of hospitals across the midwest for 35 years, our CEO Jonathan Goble brings a great perspective to FISH! in healthcare during this difficult time.


I believe today, with the onslaught of COVID-19 ravaging our resources, our people and our attitudes, we (hospitals) are particularly at risk without a specific strategy to address the impact this pandemic has on our people and culture. As healthcare workers, we are brave and will walk into the face of danger. We do it each and every day, even without COVID-19 present in our midst. We are hard workers who are willing to work extremely long hours when needed. We are called in and called off and still come back to serve our patients the next day. We have strange senses of humor because of the work that we face. It helps to be a bit irreverent when the seriousness of our work could easily drain our spirit. We are strong but the challenges of the healthcare world today threatens our infrastructure and our people.

So, how could FISH! help? All you have to do is look at the philosophies that make up FISH!


Without permission to play, our spirit will atrophy. The effort needed to fight COVID-19 is similar to long-distance running. I ran (back in the day) many 5K races, a few 10K, and two half marathons. This is a marathon and the energy needed for that race is quite different than a 5K. Exponentially more! COVID-19 is a marathon and requires us to maintain our spirits through play. Without play to renew our teamwork and relax our anxieties we will not approach the responsibilities the same way. We must, however, not forget to include the patients in our play. They need it as much, if not more, than we do.

Make Their Day:

It is tempting, when the streams of needy patients not only doesn’t stop but increases, to simply dial it back and get through the day. Going above the expected level of service creates a different attitude in the patients and our coworkers to give them the strength to continue. That’s our real role. The medical care is just an entry point to touching the lives of our patients. That can only be accomplished when we become real with the patient and many of our patients need much more than just medical treatment. So do our coworkers.

Be There:

The difference between a bystander and someone who is absolutely in the game is huge and makes a real difference in the outcome of the care provided. Reminding people to be there is critical when the patients are scared and very ill. We can all use that advice every day in this field.

Choose Your Attitude:

This is probably the most important philosophy. Everyone has an attitude. It is either a good one or a bad one or somewhere in the middle. When under extreme duress, we all find our attitudes a bit challenged. It becomes harder to maintain a positive attitude.  Can you imagine leaving your family in a time where they may not be safe and going out into an environment where you might not be safe either? Can you imagine reliving that every day, in a stress-filled hospital and seeing no end in sight to this cycle? What a challenge for anyone’s attitude! But it is critical to the emotional survival of a healthcare worker to show up every day with a positive attitude. Not because we might have a policy that says we need to have a positive attitude and not because our supervisor tells us to do it. It is critical because our own emotional life can be damaged without a positive attitude. It also is absolutely transparent to the patients we serve and to our family of caregivers.

I believe in FISH! I believe the focus on these basic philosophies, as simple as they are, can keep our health systems providing the amazing care that they provide and changing the lives of our patients and our teams.

Improving Your Culture with FISH!

Whether you work in the healthcare, business, or education industry, FISH! offers simple, effective solutions to empower your team, engage your workers, and inspire genuine customer service and care. 

We invite you to contact us today at 800.695.4534 or to speak with our cultural specialists, who will help you find the right FISH! Philosophy solutions that will nurture your organizational culture and motivate your team!

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