This week we paused to celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence. While July 4th is, for many, a chance to relax with family and friends and enjoy a short summer break, it’s also an opportunity to reflect.

Our founding fathers exhibited immense courage when they declared their independence from the British Empire. They wanted representation and freedom from have their voices heard and counted, to form their own government. They sought to ensure their “certain unalienable Rights” – chief among them, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was a bold vision and an even bolder action. In fact, their vision was so compelling that, more than 200 years later, it remains the standard to which we hold ourselves as a nation today.

While many men and women left their mark on our nation’s history, only a few of the names made it into our textbooks. But that doesn’t lessen their contributions. They all sacrificed and brought their unique talents to bear to forge our new nation.

Similarly, health care is full of unsung heroes. While the most dramatic examples make headlines, the millions of women and men of America’s hospitals and health systems are working every day to improve the health and lives of their neighbors and communities. They are the NICU nurse working the night shift who ensures that every blip of a premature infant’s vital signs is monitored and accounted for. They are the environmental services team making the extra check to ensure the highest standard of cleanliness. They are the care coordinator making that extra phone call to ensure their patient has a way to get to his follow-up appointment… and so many more.

So as we pause to reflect this week, thank you for all you do to allow every American to continue to experience life, enjoy their liberty and pursue happiness