Ever the modest physician, Dr. Matt Floersch is more likely to point to his coworkers and colleagues for their collective work in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But as the medical director for the Meadowlark retirement community and a leader of the Manhattan area’s COVID-19 Clinical Task Force, the internist has been an integral part of the community’s pandemic response.
“He brings a deep passion and genuine care for the aging adults Meadowlark serves,” said Lonnie Baker, Meadowlark CEO. “His understanding of the aging process and his ability to relate with people in a meaningful way provides strength and comfort, not only to his patients and their families, but also to the team members across our organization.”
Floersch says the pandemic has changed his job a bit, and he’s had to step outside of bedside, clinical work to help out with bigger efforts, like coordinating the community response. At the heart of it all, though, is keeping people as safe as possible for as long as possible, he says.
Originally from Clay Center, Floersch says he first thought of being a doctor in high school when his uncle suggested that if he had no other burning ambition, he could try his had at being a doctor.
“I probably realize much more now than I did back then how much it fit my skills and personality — my passion for helping people not just physically and medically, but helping them as people as much as I can.”
Throughout the pandemic, his faith has helped guide him, he says.
“Central to me is my faith in Jesus,” Floersch says. “He’s rescued me many times, and he is the reason I’m married (to my wife Karlene) and have five kids and enjoy being a dad and doctor. That hopefully comes out in everything I do.”
He credits his medical colleagues across the community for working well toward the same common goal of protecting people from the pandemic, and he’s been so proud of the “amazing efforts” he’s seen from the medical community stepping up as needed.
“This is a time where the little things really do matter,” he says. “Whether it’s buying groceries for your elderly neighbor, or sewing a mask, or putting on a mask. It’s showing kindness to someone who is afraid. I think this is a time where we can focus on the small, important things — the relational side of life.”
“This is a time where we can value the relationships in our lives that much more,” he adds. “From the virus standpoint, I have no doubt we will overcome it together. Will it take longer than we thought? Yes, I think it will, but through small acts of kindness to help people stay safe and with technology, human beings are stronger than the coronavirus and we will get through it.”