Hospital Week 2020
For many years, travelers in just about any part of the world have been able to rely on being guided by a rectangular blue service sign with a big H in the middle. Of course, it means Hospital.
People who saw that sign could assume that there was a place nearby with people who could help if they needed it—people with the skills, the experience, and the commitment to take on the most difficult human problems. If they thought about it a bit, they might have told you that a hospital was a place where there were care teams ready to support every aspect of health—for patients, as well as the community. They might even have said that a hospital was a place where health came first.
They can still say all these things, but as a result of COVID-19, they say a lot more, too. And as we come to the end of National Hospital Week 2020, the appreciation that we have for hospitals has risen to new levels. As we have watched our care teams respond effectively and efficiently to the coronavirus pandemic, our admiration for their skill and experience has often been transformed into astonishment about the truly amazing people that they are. As we have observed the careful and compassionate manner in which they have cared for those suffering from COVID-19, we have been humbled by their commitment and courage.
As we have seen how they work to secure the safety of every person with whom they interact—their fellow workers, the families of our patients, and those good people who come to have a bone set, to give birth, or to continue their cancer treatment, for instance—we have sensed a determination to get through this together; to move as methodically and carefully as we can against a common foe.
Ask someone today what that H on the sign stands for, and they might tell you that it stands for a place where everyone—physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, pharmacists, interns, housekeepers, cooks, food service workers, managers, security officers, volunteers, office staff, chaplains, technicians, administrators—EVERYONE is focused on a return to health, a return to safe communities, and the long-term triumph over a viral foe.
Thank you—every one of you! Thank you to each care team and to each member of each team. Thank you for every interaction that has left a patient feeling more hopeful, more confident, or more aware of the love and compassion with which they are regarded, even in the most difficult and dire circumstances. Thank you for coming back each day, dedicated to service and to the fulfilment of our mission. Thank you for surprising even yourself with dedication and perseverance.
Happy Hospital Week!