The Great Unmasking: How a Resilient Culture Drives Creative Innovation

By Denise Brown, M.D.

In a compelling personal perspective on the power of a resilient, brand-based corporate culture, Denise Brown, MD, Chief Growth Officer for Vituity, illustrates how to inspire innovation in times of challenge and change. Crisis or not, this is an example of exceptional internal communication and directed leadership.


The COVID crisis is a great unmasking of organizational culture. At Vituity, that is a culture of front-line physician ownership and leadership. Leadership in a time of crisis is not about reacting to the environment but responding to challenges as they are presented. Being on the front lines of this epidemic has demonstrated that now more than ever, physician leadership and ownership is imperative.

The actions our medical professionals have been able to take are not dictated by financial concerns of public shareholders or private equity firms. We are not restricted by efforts to maintain the status quo. Instead, we are guided by what is needed clinically in real time. As equal owners, we are able to make rapid adjustments in our practices’ care delivery. The financial resources of our physician-owned partnership have allowed us to adapt quickly and redeploy physicians to telehealth, ICU, and urgent care.  We continue to completely transform how acute care is being delivered across America.

  • Early in the epidemic, we initiated drive thru triage and treat locations to minimize clinician exposure to the virus while still providing face-to-face medical evaluation.
  • We quickly leveraged our tele-urgent care capabilities, and are now treating 3,000+ patients/day with more than 1,000 Vituity partners, including many who have come out of retirement to help.
  • As the epidemic advanced, we began providing remote rapid medical evaluation at our most affected emergency departments to help minimize clinician exposure and focus face-to-face efforts on those patients who need it most.
  • Our tele-hospitalist and critical care services are in use at COVID surge facilities, correctional facilities, and community hospitals across the country.
  • We have sent over 20 medical professionals as boots on the ground assistance to overwhelmed NYC hospitals.
  • Our clinicians can draw upon the expertise of the entire Partnership through our HIPAA-compliant national partnership network to share best practices and processes related to COVID-19 patient care.
  • We are sharing many clinical resources compiled for our teams, including best-practice checklists for clinicians and hospital leaders, as well as a series of webinars called “Stepping into the ICU” focused on critical care practices for non-intensivist physicians who have volunteered to assist in the ICU.

Like all business owners, we have demonstrated the creativity and drive to do whatever it takes to continue to evolve our care models. They have been forever changed.

If, as Shakespeare said, “The past is prologue,” everything we have learned in 45 years of delivering acute care has prepared us to lead through this crisis and beyond it. We are resilience in action. We are #vituitystrong.


About Vituity

Vituity is a physician-led and -owned, multi-specialty partnership. With more than 3,500 doctors and clinicians serving over 6.4 million patients annually, and spanning the entire acute care continuum, Vituity has driven positive change in the business and practice of healthcare for nearly 50 years. #vituitystrong