Guest Columnist | “Let’s Do Everything We Can to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Dr. Karen Munkacy

Let’s Do Everything We Can to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Karen Munkacy, M.D.

Karen Munkacy, M.D., Founder, President & CEO of Garden Remedies

The current pandemic has certainly uprooted lives all around the world. Our government is overburdened, healthcare and essential workers are on the frontlines facing a crisis, and supplies are strained. Now more than ever, it is important for businesses big and small to contribute to their local communities and help lift those who have supported them to get to where they are. It is a critical time to evaluate and change how we do business to accommodate the pandemic. We are not only facing a global virus, but we are all experiencing heightened anxiety during a time of great uncertainty. We can be a voice of comfort to our communities and show our empathy while adjusting to this new normal.

The pandemic is pushing us to be flexible and creative in finding solutions. Resourcefulness is key in overcoming obstacles and inventing new ideas and pushes us to think outside our normal thought process. Although I knew it all along, I learned how strong, resourceful, and creative my team is in how they have responded to this challenge. With sanitation supplies and masks running scarce, they did not hesitate to step up and explore their ideas to preserve resources all while keeping everyone safe.  Gene Ray, our VP of Laboratory Operations, and his team started the initiative of making sanitizing fluid to be used in our facilities to keep our customers and employees safe. Suzan Wentworth, a team member of our topical team, also jumped in to help by sewing face masks for our dispensary staff. Without the ideas experimented and brought to life by our team, our business would not have been able to operate as we are today. 

Every company must expend the effort to create a better world and a safer place. As a company that strongly believes in giving back, we sought out to provide these resources to those in need. We are proud to have donated over 300 gallons of sanitizer to the Massachusetts Hospital Association and to the first responders in the communities in which we operate. We also made substantial monetary donations to the communities we do business in, to help with Covid-19 relief.  Despite the obstacles we faced, our team worked hard to help our customers access legal cannabis products safely and support our local communities.  We will continue to put resources into keeping people safe and delivering products in a secure, safe way.  I got into this business solely to help people and it is our mission to find all the ways to do so. 

Once the pandemic subsides, the need for safety and health precautions will remain as we are forced to adapt to this new normal. Many of us, including Garden Remedies, had to modify business operations completely to protect our customers and employees. By leveraging technology, we have been able to operate safely and process our orders online, limiting the amount of human interaction during pickup. 

Unfortunately for retail, the pandemic prevents the customer interaction we value so much. Our goal as a company is driven on helping patients and providing our knowledge so we understood this aspect was too paramount to lose, especially during a time when they need our compassion the most.  We then utilized our technology capabilities and created more platforms for customer engagement such as our online chat and video consultations for our patients and customers with questions. 

The time for a re-envisioning your business plan is now. This is an opportunity to look at the scope of your business and see what needs to change, how consumer behavior has changed, and what you can do to help. It is essential to remember that the communities we live and work in are hurting and that we must not lose sight of the importance of giving back.


What is a Guest Columnist?

Being a member of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber provides members with many opportunities to gain valuable information and connections. We are always on the lookout for valuable content that would be on interest to our members and communities. In an effort to provide an avenue to more easily access the vast array of the knowledge and expertise that our members possess, we are now offering exclusive Guest Columnist articles for the benefit of our members. As a membership based organization, submissions will only be considered from members at the Business Choice level and above.

This is a great opportunity to position your business as a thought leader and expert. Columns should not be self-promotional or sales oriented ,and should consist of content that would be useful to businesses, including tips, answers to important questions and any insights that would be helpful to fellow members. By participating, members have the chance to better inform, educate and aid in the development of other members and the North Central Massachusetts region.

Please contact David Ginisi, Marketing and Communications Manager, if you are interested in participating: | 978.353.7600 x240