For the last six months, Matt Walters ’05 has been working to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in Singapore in his role as Implementation Director with Epic. Epic
develops software to help people get well, help people stay well, and help future generations be healthier.
Since graduating from Michigan State University in 2010, Matt has held a number of different positions with Epic and currently serves as an Implementation Director. Matt spoke of the impact Catholic Central has had on his leadership style.
“Without a doubt, my experience at Catholic Central, instilling Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge, continues to influence the way that I lead teams, form relationships, and collaborate with our partners. Being a man of Catholic Central is at the fabric of who I am.”
As Implementation Director, Matt leads teams and partners with healthcare organizations around the world to implement Epic's enterprise suite of applications - everything from scheduling, registration, clinical documentation, billing, population health, and patient engagement.
COVID-19 - A New Opportunity
Over the last year, he has co-lead Epic's effort in the fight against COVID-19.
“Starting in March, my team helped hospitals expand bed capacity, implement testing/treatment workflows and partnered with government agencies to set up field hospitals at McCormick Place (Chicago) and Javits Center (New York City). More recently, I oversee our mass vaccination rollout for all non-US/international customers including efforts in the United Kingdom, Dubai, Singapore, and Australia.”
At the end of July, Matt moved from Madison, Wisconsin to Singapore to co-lead a project implementing Epic’s software in two of the country's three health clusters under the Ministry of Health (MOH). The health clusters help to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to most Singaporeans.
Matt talked about the challenges and opportunity of making an international move in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Making an international move during a global pandemic is not exactly what I had in mind when I agreed to the new role, but it has been an incredible life journey these first six months. That includes a welcome gift of two weeks government-mandated quarantine at a government facility. Don't feel too bad...it was a five star hotel. Singapore is a pretty easy landing spot for Asia. There is a pretty low barrier to entry, as business meetings, street signs, and ordering food at restaurants are all in English. The food is absolutely incredible, from the Hawker Centers to the many Michelin star restaurants”
Life in Singapore
Finally, Matt provided some valuable insights into how Singapore has handled COVID-19.
“In Singapore, COVID is much more under control than the majority of the world. For context, if Singapore was a city in the US, it would be the second in population density behind New York and in front of San Francisco. In spite of that, most days Singapore has zero new community cases. Most cases that are counted each day are people coming into the country and staying at one of the government facilities.”
“All stated, life is actually pretty normal. Offices are at 50% capacity, restaurants and bars are open until 10:30 pm, people are at the markets, beaches and amusement parks, we conduct meetings in person when possible, gyms are open with limited class sizes, etc. As an American, some of the rules can feel a little 1984 or Brave New World-ish (thanks Mr. Grewe!), but it is hard to argue with how successful they've been.”