Event Q&A with Bismarck Cancer Center Marketing Director, Sara Kelsch
Prior to a COVID-19 world, many businesses relied on events as an essential part of their operating model. Bringing people together allowed the distribution of information as well as encouraged networking and relationship building. Some organizations-especially non-profits, used gatherings as a way to fundraise to help complete their mission and serve their customers. COVID-19 has forced businesses to cancel, postpone, or get creative with additional options.
GNDC reached out to Bismarck Cancer Center who is having a Virtual Happy Hour to encourage support of the Center yet also promote safety and social distancing. The event on May 21st is in partnership with Mandan cocktail establishment, Thomas and Moriarty's.
Chris Kalash, Director of Membership Services spoke with Sara Kelsch, Marketing Director at Bismarck Cancer Center and Stacy Sturm of URL Radio and Thomas and Moriarty's. We asked how they are managing current and upcoming events and what considerations should be made for those that are planning future events.
GNDC sat down to learn more about the impacts on operations at Bismarck Cancer Center.
GNDC: Has your ability to treat patients or provide services declined during COVID-19?
Kelsch: The Bismarck Cancer Center has been incredibly busy during this pandemic. Cancer doesn't ever stop! We are currently treating a near-record number of patients. We have taken extreme caution as far as all staff at the Center wearing PPE, taking temperatures of all patients daily as well as temperatures of staff. Regarding our Foundation, many events have gotten rescheduled; however, none have been canceled. We have had to be creative in looking for online/virtual events to continue to raise money for our Foundation.
Are you having a problem with supply-chain disruptions – PPE? Other items?
We have not had too many issues securing PPE. We have community members sewing masks that we give out to patients who need them. Masks are required by staff and patients currently at the Cancer Center.
How is the Bismarck Cancer Center handling ongoing operations under the lens of COVID-19 impacts?
The Cancer Center continues to provide excellent treatment for those battling cancer. We have caring compassionate staff and world-class technology to make sure the cancer is getting treated. In addition, minimal services have stopped during this time and we have taken great care to develop virtual options or services by phone to all patients and survivors. Many of our support groups, as well as our yoga class, have all gone virtual!
Do you have other events planned besides this event?
The communities of Bismarck and Mandan are very supportive of our Center and Foundation. Typically each year there are around 35 events raising money for our Foundation - about 5 of those are planned by our staff at the center and 30 are planned by those in the community. We have many events scheduled for the summer - some with adjusted plans! If individuals want to get involved or participate, check out our website to stay informed.