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Disaster Preparedness Tips for Today’s Healthcare Leaders with Brandon Lee, Chief Operations Officer at MESH

Empowering healthcare leaders to cope with disaster through preparation and education

Disaster Preparedness Tips for Today’s Healthcare Leaders with Brandon Lee, Chief Operations Officer at MESH

Recommended Book:

Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler

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Disaster Preparedness Tips for Today’s Healthcare Leaders with Brandon Lee, Chief Operations Officer at MESH

Welcome to the outcomes rocket pod cast where we inspire collaborative thinking improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host Saul Marquez.

And welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the outstanding Brandon Lee. He’s a chief operations officer at the MESH Coalition. He’s also a nurse practitioner with extensive experience caring for patients in a variety of settings but not limited to Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, wound care, ICU, trauma. At the MESH Coalition, he’s the Lead Administrative Officer and provides leadership to the largest Emergency Management Healthcare Coalition in the United States. Outside of this Indiana National Guard, he’s doing outstanding things for our country, for our health system and it is a true pleasure to have Brandon on a podcast. Brandon welcome.

Saul thank you so much.

Hey my pleasure. Anything that I left out of your intro there that you maybe wanted to fill in?

You hit all my highlights. I think what’s now my profession is father of five wonderful children and actually married.

That’s awesome man. Congratulation. Boys? Girls?

4 Boys and one girl.

Amazing, amazing. Congratulations to you. That’s a true blessing. And you and I had a chance to connect at the Health care Think A Ton it was a fun event. We got to chat about some of the cool things that you guys are up to. What do you think is a hot topic that needs to be on every health leaders agenda today and how are you guys approaching it Brandon?

You know it’s interesting. So I’ll talk on the MESH side with the MESH Coalition is a disaster preparedness organization Coalition of multiple hospitals in the downtown area. And one of the things that with all of the disasters that happen. Unfortunately tragedies happen every day. Whether it’s a natural disaster with a hurricane that we see that happen again all the early disasters shares the stage. So it really is just thinking about how to get involved and try to minimize as much energy as possible. And really that’s through preparation and education.

Very cool. Now the work that you guys do Brandon is it centered around Indianapolis and the surrounding hospitals? Or does it expand from there?

So it is centered around Indianapolis as of right down Marion County is the county which Indianapolis’ house so…


All our Health care coalition partners right now are there alone. We didn’t have a nationally, we actually host the National Health Care Coalition’s practice conference once a year. So it is a health care, its a conference for health care coalition across United States. So typically all 50 states in United States are work-centered. Typically at this, there is going to be enormous play in November.

Very cool. Very cool so your work is focused locally. But you’re organizing at the national level to help others deal with disaster preparedness.


Very cool.

And actually the unique thing is this unique partnership because actually some of the guys it’s from the assistant secretary areas which is called usher. And the one of the main agenda I just decided he has is getting state partnerships and coalitions formed to help disseminate the information in training that needs to happen. So it’s going to have a Federal Strategic Plan however it’s seated at the grassroots state level.

I think that’s phenomenal that you guys are working on this because you’re right. I mean you never know what’s going to happen. You have to be prepared and you know when our health system gets the pressure of something that happens with a shooting or with you know be it where your geographical area is you’ll have your given problems right. Earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, it’s important that you guys are ready. If you’re curious about the work that Brandon and his team are up to check out their website go to meshcoalition.org. You’ll be able to see that they’ve got a nice social media feed as well where they post the things that they’re up to their calendar. And so you obviously have a varying degree of interest right and you’re doing different things man. And what got you into the medical sector to begin with?

Well I initially thought I grow up wanted to be doing business and I didn’t want to worry about other people’s money. Mostly it’s just the fascination I had after I laid everything out and working with the phenomenal opportunity and career.


And from there it just kind of expanded I was also joined at a college, the National Guard and it was a medic. And I think that two kind of helps nearer together. And I could just continued my career of both . So I have continued my education and became an nurse practitioner based on love for helping people and the I think with the nullitary dimes and the view of trying to make things better, faster, quicker is just kind of come around.

I think that’s so wonderful,you’ve really tied them together quite nicely. And so with the work that you’re doing at MESH Coalition or even at the National Guard now, what would you say an example of how one of those organizations has created results by thinking and doing things differently?

The exception like MESH is essentially thinking outside the box actually get after problems really what MESH stands for some of them are missing saying it’s Manage Emergent Search for Health care which basically means how do you avoid what you describe the disaster? How do you avoid individuals from going to the hospital because the very innate nature that people do is like I cut my thumb I want to go to the hospital. I mean in a hospital, if you’re in the hospital for too long you’ll have the chance to getting sicker than getting better. We’re working on that. So therefore what are the things that we want to do to avoid you from getting having to go to the hospital you know whether it’s your social needs, fixing social determinants of health. That is an overview. The key inception of measure is actually through along the training that they’ve inducted that’s help health systems come up with these plans to avoid those issues.

I think it’s important. So many people like you’re right. I mean your first instinct is to go to the hospital. So who disseminates this information? How does the community get a feel for what to do?

So it truly is a coalition. I mean one of our main staking Health Care Partners is the Marin County Health Department and with the health departments and actually with our preparedness division under the state’s health department and basically they have separates coalition entities throughout the state as well that are there under the direction of state government. We worked with them to help get the information out that training exercises needed for the average person.

Very cool. I think it’s so great. Yes you are partnering with the public health institutions to help disseminate this very important information and some to think about right listeners. I mean we’re faced with that disasters. You know here and there. So when you think about how to address this may if you don’t have a pathway forward I think this is a good way to start. You take a look at the work that Brandon and his team are up to and find an inroad to a solution for your community. So it’s not always smooth when these things come up, Brandon. Can you share with the listeners a time when you guys had a setback and what you learned from that?

You know I’ll just go with the most recent you know sore that we just had…

Let’s hear it.

Who are a Grant by the Assistant Secretary of the State or a preparedness effort and this Grant was awarded the two pretty much state entities to help regionalized plans for the dash of preparedness

So their purpose is everyone has which is really in this space you know communication is the key. And it seems like everyone has played those plans on their insides so the primary purpose is of Grant was to actually bring those plans together, make a functional make the communications happen. But it’s actually a regional base meaning it’s supposed to be a multi-state level and I think what happened was that are we’re very competitive application. The assumption is we weren’t. We were too nearer because our assets that we could actually work with were all in the entire state of Indiana. And we really needed to incorporate Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Kentucky to remain safe. And I think at other time we had a little bit more time than able to do unfortunately and we do that for you.

Yeah yeah that deadline kind of drove you to just put a close eye on it. How could you have known differently?

We didn’t. Actually there was some feedback that we got was actually great feedback. I mean the whole purpose is to actually take these plans than actually replicate these plans that’s the ugly face two of the Grant for like next year or something.


So we’ll get after it then.

Very cool. I love your resilience and thanks for sharing that. Yeah you definitely don’t know and you know I’m a firm believer, Brandon you’re either winning or learning. And you guys definitely are doing just that. You’ve created a nice culture within your own team of that same attitude.


So what would you say one of your proudest leadership experiences has been to date?

Oh so I am a believer of paying it forward and I think a lot of individuals were you know resources and time into me. So that is probably my base actually that I absolutely love to do it. I, is help others achieve their goals whether to professionally academically. So I’m typically, I have a kind of a mud trail. However we come together will be better when we leave. It maybe playful but it will be better. So I have a personal goal of every soldier that I had basically here you want to plan to actually be better whether that’s to achieve you know your academic career, finished college, be a better husband, father, daughter or son and just go with that work simultaneously to actually achieve that result. Because most people ironically that the my physician colleagues and high academic standards it is basically they have the vision of what the end goal is and something that’s not taught and being able to help others achieve that vision is the proudest moment that I have.

That’s so great. And I know that there’s multiple instances of you doing this with physicians, with soldiers and I think it’s so wonderful that you look at the world through that lens, Brandon. I think it’s great as you’ve done this work and you’ve helped others achieve their goals. You know it’s led you to where you’re at today and the wonderful work that you’re doing. What’s an exciting project that you’re working on today?

I guess one of the things that we’re happy at MESH is so there are there’s different levels of preparedness and you know most entities. Sometimes you have to comply with certain things and hospitals and large students have been in compliance and they’ve done that over time because it’s mandate. Well few years ago the mandates changed to post acute areas such as nursing homes, rehab centers, and dialysis centers, and hospitals. And actually we worked on a program to do exercises so that they can should be compliant and learn that preparedness. So we’re talking about earlier with you know bringing those planes together what we have. Sometimes we know that they have plans or they don’t have plans yet. So we help implement those plans. Teach them formulate those plans and their ancillary so that’s the fun project we had going on right here in MESH.

That’s pretty awesome. That transition from just a cute centers to the ancillary services. So you know you work on a lot of cool things Brandon, what keeps you up at night?

Ooh the thing that’s missed. Meaning that unfortunately bad things happen and we we’ve learned retrospectively.


And it’s those things what we can avoid to mitigate those things. That’s basically it is just going to be casual. That is, it can get scarier you know just very superficial. But the more you think about health environment not to be a worrier. So if it does keep me up at night it’s probably pretty serious.

And that’s why I asked you that Brandon because I’m like you know this guy worked with some pretty cool stuff. You’re doing some amazing work for Disaster Preparedness Summit. What really does keep you up at night? And it’s just really kind of staying ahead, going with where the puck is going on and some of these disasters and potential threatening situations it sounds like.


Very cool. Getting to the end here Brandon, this has been a really fun time with you. I’d love if we do a little pretend here we’re going to build the medical leadership course and what it takes to be successful in health care, the disaster preparedness piece. It’s the one on one of Brandon Lee and so we’re going to build a syllabus lightning round style four questions followed by a book. You ready?


All right. What’s the best way to improve health care outcomes?

Listen to patients.

What’s the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Not listening to patients.

How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Ooh that’s a good one. Always thinking outside the box. once you do a couple of times that the status quo but the how do you make it better?

Love it.


Love it.

What’s one area focus that drives everything in your organization?

The want to help. Being a part of mankind and just wanting to help me you notice when there are disasters. All the great phenomenal stories that it seems from the Red Cross, in the news. in hospital and just being part of mankind where nothing else matters except helping your fellowmen.

Love that Brandon. So great. What book would you recommend as part of the syllabus?

Ooh. So this is a little crazy.

Let’s hear it.

Books I’ve recently you know the traditional leadership book that I could actually say but i think Living With a SEAL by Jesse Itzler. Completely different aspect of what it is if you never heard of David Groggins.

Okay. No.

David Groggins is a Navy SEAL who is just insane. .


Yeah true I mean literally truly insane. He was a obviously for being one of the hardest professions Navy SEAL. But also the first Navy SEAL in Army Ranger and also in the Air Force Tactical Unit as well.


But one of the things that just put him on the market map was he was an individual who to help out his fellow man. Basically there were Navy SEALs who were killed and he started a foundation. In order to build the foundation he thought well “I’m start with ultramarathons so…


A week before he had this idea. He basically signed up for ultramarathons and literally run with no preparation whatsoever ever trainee, never did a marathon, did a hundred miles.

Oh my God. That’s amazing.

So that’s…

The thing insane is the word.

He’s crazy. What happened was Jesse Itzler who was a entrepreneur business person who is, he’s always reinventing how can it be better, actually at a race he reengage gallons and basically said “Hey would you come live with me?”

Oh my gosh.

So for 30 days.

Oh my gosh that’s so crazy.

We think it’s crazy but it’s amazing.

Wow. Wow. And it’s called Living with a SEAL.


Outstanding. What a great recommendation. I feel my adrenaline pumping here Brandon. So thank you. And I’m sure you listeners are feeling it too. All these awesome recommendations can be found on our website. But in particular go to the show notes for this episode with Brandon Lee. It’s at outcomesrocket.health/mesh and you’ll be able to find all that there including a transcript and links to all the things we’ve talked about. Brandon this has been a ton of fun. You leave us with continuing to want to help our fellow man and continue doing the great work that’s being done in health care. I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place for the listeners can get in touch with you.

Okay. Closing thought is you know everyone keep doing the great things you’re doing in health care. Some of the previous people you saw are meeting in relation to changing health care. So just keep up the great work. And how do you get a hold of me as if anyone needs to as mine as Brandon Lee my initials are blee@meshcoalition.org we’ll be happy to answer any questions or chat with you.

Outstanding Brandon. Hey this has been a ton of fun. Thank you so much for your unique perspective. And we’re excited to stay in touch with you.

Absolutely Saul for just chat again soon.

Thanks for listening to the outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

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