All companies are currently trying to do something they have never done before – to safely serve customers and protect employees amid a global pandemic. Many businesses and individuals are not only developing new approaches to work but are sharing them with others. We believe it’s critical that businesses connect and support each during these challenging times. 

Cook Group has many types of businesses – from manufacturing essential medical devices to operating resort hotels and commercial properties. Each had its own challenges in the face of the pandemic – the resorts needed to temporarily shut down, but our medical device manufacturing needed to continue (especially for devices used in intensive care units where COVID-19 patients are treated), as did maintaining our commercial properties.

As we began planning to continue operations long term under these new circumstances, we realized that not all businesses have the benefits of our global size or a staff with many areas of expertise to navigate the needed changes. That is how our employee volunteer network began.

To respond to COVID-19, it took many working groups focusing on different aspects of business operations and employee support, including physical distancing, cleaning and sanitization, personal protective equipment, onsite illness management, HR leave policies, remote work guidelines, and return to worksite planning for those who need to be onsite. Our volunteer team shares what we have learned so far with other businesses, to help them restart or improve safety for their employees and customers.

We have about 50 members in our volunteer team that are giving back to our community by offering our experience to area businesses on their reopening plans. We’re also working directly with development organizations, like the local chamber of commerce, to reach the many businesses in the area. 

Small businesses like restaurants, hair salons, athletics clubs and nonprofits across Monroe County have responded to our willingness to provide experience and guidance. We are happy to help others – via phone, video calls, or onsite visits to assess physical spaces – or hear about your approach to resuming business safely.

In addition to our volunteer team, we hosted a Facebook Live webinar where we presented our plans for our varied Cook Group businesses.

In the webinar, we shared the actual procedures we are using to respond to COVID-19, including

  • Resort reopening plans
  • Human resource guidelines
  • Onsite management of employees with potential COVID-19 illness
  • Remote work guidelines
  • Decontamination and cleaning guidelines
  • Returning to worksite planning

For more information on getting assistance from our volunteer team, contact us at

You can download the resources and watch the full webinar at

We don’t pretend to have this all figured out. We will be learning more as we bring employees and visitors back to the resorts, bring back office employees who have been working offsite, and find new ways to introduce clinical customers to our medical products. Continual improvement is one of our core values, and this evolving pandemic means changes might be rapid and frequent to ensure safety and sustain our businesses.

John Enneking is Director of Global Manufacturing Transformation at Cook Medical, a global medical device manufacturer, headquartered in Bloomington, IN. If you have questions, you can contact



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