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19 Beds


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I remember a couple years ago on Il2 1946 a Battle of Midway Mission where my computer was on the fritz, so my assignment was mapping. 

The mission involved beacons and finding the fleet we were trying to bomb.  By plotting the beacon coordinates, I eventually found the fleet and directed the sortie to find their targets.  The mapping was complicated, I had printed a large map mounted on foam core and had pins for plotting.  With no images to watch the action, I had to 100% rely on the audio.  It was nerve racking and intense.  I vividly remember finally finding the ships, and wishing the pilots "Good Hunting Gentlemen" when they went in for the bombing run.  

It was some of the most immersive most satisfy "flying" I had ever experienced.

Over the last week I had  a very similar experience in real life. 

OSHPD is the agency in California that permits Hospital construction.  With the Hospital wrestling with COVID we have had struggles to find adequate capacity for patients.   In trying to help, OSHPD allowed us to activate an old floor in a 1960's era building that used to be hospital beds but had been converted to offices.  Over that last few months we have been cleaning the floor up to get it ready and we had a number of delays.  When this most recent surge hit, this floor (which would add 19 beds to our inventory) became very important.   We had originally asked to have until mid January to finish the project and Hospital leadership said "No, not acceptable, you need to get done by mid December".  

This led to a high stress tight wire act, that  involved a team of dozen or so architects, contractors, maintenance staff and project managers and culminated this weekend in a constant flow of emails and troubleshooting to get all the final testing and inspection done.  I am a 100% teleworking right now, so I pretty much settled into the Battle of Midway Mission Mapping mode, reading all the emails, pushing, encouraging, leading thru a myriad of small problems to get to the finish line without ever visiting the job site.   It was all hands on deck, everyone giving their best effort.

Today was the promised date for completion.  All the paperwork had been submitted, OSHPD was reviewing.  There was no work to do, it was all about processing the paper.   OSHPD is slammed right now with all this emergency work and their office and field staff were not returning calls.  Nursing staff had an evening shift scheduled and on the Zoom call the Nurses asked if they could start bringing in patients or did we have to send the Nurses home.  No Permit, no Patients and we didn't have a permit yet.  Time was running out for today.

I sent a text to one of my contacts at OSHPD on her personal cell phone.  She responded right back and called the Area Compliance Officer.  The three of us got on a call and had a very careful phone conversation with one hour to go for the target opening.  He was not going to approve, but it turned out he didn't have the final version of a key report required.  Finally he said with everything else that was going on, we were cleared to see patients and that the permits would follow.  He said sometimes someone's word is good enough and that he appreciate how much effort we had put into communicating with him.

At 4:00 tonight I got to send the note to the Chief Medical Officer to say we were cleared to open the floor and start see patients tonight.

No fancy buildings or grand openings.  No pretty pictures for the portfolio.  A completed project I had never visited in person.  Added 19 beds to the inventory at a time where that meant a lot.

 It was one of the most satisfying work experiences in my career. 


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Thanks for letting us know what its like to try to get things done in California. I lived there 17 years until late '80s, and packed my bags when 2 cycle outboard engines were banned, and left when charcoal lighter fluid was banned for use to light your grill.

Glad to hear you are working from home. LA county is like some third world country now, as far as experiencing a pandemic . Sad to see what has happened to California government, with all the positive things it has to offer as a beautiful state, and so many ways to make a good living before government decided to tighten oversight on peoples lives.

Good job guiding, and coordinating a potentially life saving project.

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There's little wonder that Tom is the longest serving Wing Walkers Commander. His expertise in deftly and competently herding cats (remotely!) in real life translates superbly to our virtual world. 

It's never easy, but those occasions when the rewards stack up make the job worth it. Well done, sir. I wish you more, simpler, wins in the new year. 

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