CHESTCOVID-19: Voices From the CommunityCHEST’s COVID-19 Task Force – The Secrets Behind Our Success

CHEST’s COVID-19 Task Force – The Secrets Behind Our Success

By: Alice Gallo De Moraes, MD, on behalf of the CHEST COVID-19 Task Force

In March 2020, as COVID-19 spread throughout the world, CHEST formed a COVID-19 Task Force in response to the burgeoning pandemic. The task force united CHEST leaders with a wide variety of expertise and interests around a common goal to help guide the chest medicine community in tackling this new disease.

From the beginning, the task force had ground rules: We were focused on creating, curating, and distributing knowledge about COVID-19 to other CHEST members located around the world, as well as patients. We wanted this information to be easily understood, accurate, and accessible. All task force members were fully present in our weekly meetings. Every voice was equally valuable, and all decisions were made through consensus. Agendas were clear but flexible and followed through. We had our “why” ironed out.

Since its inception, the task force has developed dozens of webinars, blog posts, full manuscripts, infographics, social media posts, journal clubs, and multiple sessions at CHEST’s annual meeting. But most importantly, clinicians from different backgrounds (we have clinicians trained in neurocritical care, infectious disease critical care, pediatric critical care, and pulmonary critical care) have had the privilege to learn from and teach one another. The weekly meetings served as opportunities to share personal experiences about this new disease that we knew very little about. We took the opportunity to share what we were going through with team members at our home institutions and to cheer each other on. While our primary objective was to help our fellow CHEST members and clinicians in general, we’ve also helped each other tremendously.

This task force has developed into a unicorn because we knew the importance of our work: We had a vision, stuck to it, and provided constant feedback to one another. Dear reader, if you ever find yourself leading a task force, please consider using our recipe for success: Never lose focus of your group’s purpose; make sure everyone’s voices are equally important and strong; give, ask, and constantly incorporate feedback; and set and keep the rhythm. Most importantly, create a safe space for your team to find its way and grow into a successful, productive, and thriving squad.


Alice Gallo De Moraes, MD
Alice Gallo De Moraes, MD, is a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Physician at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Her clinical interests include mechanical ventilation, liver failure in the ICU, and ICU-related complications of novel oncologic treatments. She is a member of CHEST’s COVID-19 Task Force, Scientific Presentations and Awards Committee, and Social Media Work Group.

Read more COVID-19: Voices From the Community blog posts:

How COVID-19 Turned Our Hospital—and Patients—Upside Down

Medical Publishing in a COVID-19 World: How the Journal CHEST Adapted and Evolved

What It’s Like to Be a Postgraduate Trainee in a Pandemic