Today, as we near the end of the annual National Hospital Week celebration, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins introduced a resolution marking the life-saving contributions of California’s hospitals in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It reads, in part:
“WHEREAS, California’s more than 400 hospitals were called upon to quickly respond to COVID-19 … and … provided care to more than 307,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19, and they have saved hundreds of thousands of lives … The state recognizes the special place hospitals and health care workers have in California as a cornerstone of our health care system as these hospitals and health care workers tend to the sickest, most vulnerable residents …”
Resolutions are passed every year by the Legislature, but this one is notable — because it serves as a marker and a reminder that all you did over the past 18 months has not gone unnoticed.
Legislators know how hospitals rose to the challenge. Communities know how hospitals transformed to meet their needs. Patients know how hospitals provided compassionate care through dark times. Families know their loved ones were as safe and cared for as could be.
We are grateful to Sen. Atkins for seeing this through.
Like all resolutions, this one does not carry any new legal requirements. It also does not mean that hospitals get any special treatment. In fact, it is precisely because hospitals are held in such high regard that legislators and communities expect so much of you. The broad shoulders of hospitals, to some, can shoulder any weight.
Of course, that isn’t the case, and weights added to hospitals that don’t have clear benefits to patients and communities can actually hinder the provision of quality, affordable care.
That’s why hospitals must continue to have a strong voice in Washington D.C., Sacramento, and throughout California — because you must always remain a safe harbor in any storm, whether it’s COVID-19, an earthquake, or the next disease that we don’t even know about yet.
That’s what the Legislature is really saying with this resolution — loud and clear — that hospitals will always matter — to them, and to the people of California.