Every year in May, the country celebrates National Hospital Week — a time to reflect on and appreciate the so many ways hospitals support the needs of their communities, health and otherwise.
This year’s theme is Hope Through Healing, which is something hospitals take pride in providing every year, but it takes on extra meaning considering what’s taken place since 2020’s celebration 12 months ago.
Consider that nearly 4 million Californians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and over 62,000 have lost their lives. Altogether, since the pandemic began, California hospitals have treated more than 300,000 people for COVID-19, many of whom would not have survived but for the care they received.
Hope through healing.
This year, it’s hard to overstate how much the nation has relied on hospitals and how potent a reminder the pandemic has been of the need to protect California’s most vulnerable, who were hit even harder by this disease.
California’s hospitals helped in so many other ways during this pandemic. From providing childcare services to nurses whose children had nowhere to go when daycare centers shut down, to funding housing so families of health care workers could be protected, to broad support programs that tended to the mental and emotional well-being of those on the front lines, hospitals were there time and again.
Hope through humanity.
Now, as we begin the long, hard slog to climb out of the wreckage left by the crisis, hospitals are struggling, and hospital leaders are anxious. They feel this way not because the balance sheets are looking grim, but because of what those balance sheets mean for the future. Without help, they are facing decisions that could make care harder to access for some, could mean fewer jobs in the future, could drive economic distress for their community.
So, next week, as all of you proclaim, proudly, your support for hospitals (stay tuned on our Twitter and LinkedIn feeds starting Monday for messages you can amplify), we will also be encouraging lawmakers and policymakers to do the same.
Because if there is not enough care for hospitals, there can be no hope through hospitals.