Pioneer Institute & COVID-19

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Pioneer Institute continues to watch developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, mournful about the loss of life and the toll on the health and well-being of our state and country. In the past, we have rebounded from misfortunes and upheavals, and we will do so again in the face of the current pandemic. Our country has enormous private and public sector resources at its disposal to bring COVID-19 under control.

We want to share the important steps and work we at Pioneer will be undertaking and the ways we will serve as a resource in the coming weeks to minimize further damage.

Out of concern for our employees and the broader community, as of Thursday, March 12, the Institute’s staff began working remotely. We start each morning with a virtual meeting to review the day’s tasks and we communicate regularly throughout the day. Pioneer is open for business, and we plan to remain every bit as active and responsive to your needs.

We are going to continue our important work, now more critical than ever, to ensure our government is transparent and effective. Crises like this are not to be exploited for political gain – but they do call upon us to identify gaps and areas needing improvement so that we can learn and deliver better services for all of our residents. And there may also be a need for increased vigilance, as we struggle with how to balance measures taken for public safety reasons with limits on our freedom that inevitably come with states of emergency.

As always, Pioneer will continue to provide quality programming, research, videos, podcasts, and social media content, serving as a resource for media and the public. We will address COVID-19 on issues such as telecommuting and telemedicine, online learning and homeschooling options, and innovation in the life sciences.

We bring to this work a staff of experts who can address important aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Dr. William Smith, our Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, can discuss how life sciences companies are responding, some of the treatments being tested, and the vaccine approval process. With Bill and our other senior fellows in healthcare, Josh Archambault and Barbara Anthony, we will be providing content, possibly including a podcast series, on the pandemic in order to keep you informed.
  • Jim Stergios, Greg Sullivan, and Mary Z. Connaughton have all served as a resource for reporters at The Boston Globe and other outlets covering the State House, on COVID-19’s impact on the state budget, and on the suspension of some government transparency measures.
  • Dr. Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson, co-hosts of our national K-12 education podcast, “The Learning Curve,” have been discussing the virus’ impact on families and schools; and Pioneer has been highlighting resources for parents suddenly finding themselves engaged in homeschooling and online learning.
  • Our social media feeds each morning include our MassWatch Fact of the Day posts, which present bite-sized information from our online web tools regarding the impact of the pandemic on our schools, the healthcare industry, retirement and public transit systems, and more.

Finally, we plan to stay in touch with our community of supporters, to make sure your needs are being addressed, and to provide assistance where we can. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us via:

We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy, and we look forward to continuing working for and with you to ensure Massachusetts remains as vibrant and resilient as ever.

Stay connected!

Jim Stergios