We are very lucky to have you, and we know it. Being on the front line isn’t easy, but it is very much appreciated. You deserve our applause, our thanks and our respect. We depend on your strength and can never thank you enough.

These are just some of the expressions of gratitude for our nation’s health care workers that come from patients all across the country. Every day there are stories about nurses, doctors and other caregivers who go above and beyond displaying compassion and commitment to healing and restoring health to their patients.

This year’s observance of National Hospital Week, May 7-13, and National Nurses Week, May 6-12, are opportunities to thank our dedicated caregivers and recognize the tremendous job they have done taking care of our country through one of the most trying episodes in our history.

More than 6.3 million people work at hospitals and health systems across the nation. Nurses, doctors, technicians, pharmacists, therapists, IT and environmental services professionals along with many others work every day to provide life-saving care and essential services to their communities. They also are at the forefront of innovation and leading the charge to advance health for patients and communities.

The AHA is leading a national recognition initiative spotlighting the invaluable role hospitals and care teams play in our society. We have shared digital resources that hospitals can customize and use to celebrate with their own teams and communities — both during these recognition weeks but also more broadly. These assets include a social media toolkit and a new video that celebrates the long history of hospitals and health systems advancing health in our nation.

In addition, we’ll be running digital and print advertisements reinforcing that hospitals and health systems are always there ready to care and do more than any other part of the health care system to support patients and communities.

We invite all hospitals, health care workers and community members to recognize and participate in National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week. Please take a few minutes to hear directly from some health care workers who shared their own stories about why they went into health care and the nursing profession.

Hospitals and health systems have evolved over time to meet patients where they are. But the blue “H,” with its promise of always there, ready to care, has not changed one bit.

As AHA Board Chair John Haupert, president and CEO of Grady Health System in Atlanta says, “No matter our background, no matter whom we’re serving — we’re all focused on providing care to people and doing it well.”

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