Since 1921, a national recognition centered on health care has been established in the United States. It was first known as National Hospital Day, which was celebrated annually on May 12 in observance of Florence Nightingale’s birthday anniversary. Nightingale was a famous nurse and public health activist who not only helped make nursing a respectable profession, but also revolutionized the way the hospital industry was run.
In 1953, the annual recognition was transitioned to a week-long observance so healthcare organizations could plan and implement more in-depth public information programs. Additionally, because of Nightingale’s impact on the industry, nurses across the country are also celebrated during this same week in early May.
Given the proximity of these two celebrations, I think it’s appropriate to say that all healthcare workers should be celebrated and recognized during this time. So, let’s refer to it as “National Healthcare Week,” as all individuals and groups within health systems should be acknowledged. In fact, the theme for this year’s celebration by the American Hospital Association, a long-time sponsor of the event, is “We are health care!”
This annual observance gives us an opportunity to highlight employee achievements, further educate the surrounding community on services and inform the public on advances within the healthcare industry. This year especially, I feel the focus must be on the people, at every level, which make a health system operate. There has been no better time than now to show appreciation for our associates, as we have spent the past two years fighting a pandemic unlike anything that’s been seen.
On behalf of myself, the BVHS Board of Trustees and our executive team, we would like to publicly share a sincere “thank you” to our entire team at BVHS for its resilience and continued dedication in helping one another, whether it be a fellow colleague and/or a community member. They all play a part in our mission of “Caring for a lifetime.”
Oddly, we find ourselves in a unique time where COVID-19 has seemingly loosened its grip. We might all be just slightly nervous for what’s next and having to ask ourselves, “now what?” We don’t have all of the answers or know what the future holds. What I do know, however, is that we have seen and learned so much over the past two years, and we are ready to adapt to almost any situation. I can confidently say we have the right people in place for any challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Finally, as “National Healthcare Week” approaches, if you see or know of someone that works in healthcare, consider thanking them for the work that they do. Any words of positivity, encouragement or gratefulness are certainly welcomed and appreciated by our valued associates.