Yesterday kicked off National Hospital Week, 2020. Has there ever been a more important and opportune time to observe it?

Hospitals and health systems — and the amazing women and men that staff them — always give their best to keep people and communities healthy. Their mission doesn’t change: Health comes first.

This year, of course, the stakes are so much higher for our front-line health care heroes as they are fighting valiantly each and every day to protect and preserve the health of our entire nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, more than ever, National Hospital Week gives us all the opportunity to salute those working for hospitals and health systems — physicians, nurses, therapists, engineers, food service workers, volunteers, environmental stewards, administrators and so many more — for their unwavering service, sacrifice and courage during this pandemic.

With that in mind, this year’s celebration is taking the form of “A Week of Thanks.” Each day has a specific action that individuals can take — from the safety of their homes — to honor our health care heroes.

The AHA has provided a digital toolkit and other resources for hospitals and health systems to use in their own efforts throughout the week.  

At Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City, Mo., in order to help maintain social-distancing efforts, our 18 hospitals and campuses are exchanging the traditional large-scale celebratory gatherings for “pop-up events” that include personal deliveries of sweet-treats and other foods to our hospital teams from members of our leadership. Each connection made during these deliveries is treasured, especially during these challenging times. 

National Hospital Week concludes on Saturday with an opportunity to Protect the Heroes by donating to an initiative launched by the AHA, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy and The Creative Coalition to raise funds for critical hospital resources to support the needs of physicians, nurses and caregivers treating COVID-19 patients.

Hospitals and health systems are always there, ready to care for their patients and communities. Thank you to the more than 6 million women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems who are making the sacrifices of a lifetime as they care for our country during this unprecedented period. Please join us and help say thanks.

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