As the curtain begins to ring down on 2023 and we move deep into the holiday season, I wanted to share a few recent messages from patients highlighted on AHA’s Forever Grateful webpage.

  • From the wife of a stroke and cancer survivor: “There’s not a better place we could have gone to. The staff, from the doctors, nurses and therapists couldn’t have been better. Jack is where he is now because of the hospital and the personnel and the people who work there.”
  • From the mother of a child born with disabilities: “When we cry, they cry with us. That means that they love us, you know, and that we are important.”
  • From an addiction recovery patient: “I’ve learned to ask for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. [The hospital] saved my life by showing the value I have as a human being, that I’m worth it.”

The giving spirit of the holiday season blazes brightly every day of the year in the care that hospitals and health systems provide. No one is turned away from their doors. Caregivers are always there, ready to care, from the onset of life to its end and every point in between. You are lifesavers and difference makers, and you do more good in the world than you can ever know.

Please take a few minutes to visit our Forever Grateful webpage for tools and resources that your organization can use this time of year to say thank you to the amazing health care professionals in your organizations and communities.

Despite significant and ongoing challenges this year, hospitals and health systems can be proud of the job they do each and every day to care for our families, our friends and our neighbors.

On behalf of the entire AHA team, it is a privilege to represent our member hospitals and health systems all across the country. The AHA has worked alongside you throughout these trying times to ensure hospitals have the critical resources and support they need to continue serving their patients and communities.

Please see this short video highlighting some of the things we’ve been able to accomplish together this year.

But we know our work is far from over. We are hard at work preparing for congressional action that could come early next year on a host of issues, including eliminating billions in Medicaid disproportionate share hospital reductions scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 19 and rejecting so-called site-neutral payment reductions that would reduce access to care for patients and communities.

Watch for our advocacy agenda early next year with key priorities to ensure access to care and stabilize the field’s current financial situation right now; strengthen the workforce; enhance quality; and enact regulatory relief, among other issues.

We’ll also begin learning collaboratives for our Patient Safety Initiative; share best practices and strategies for advancing health equity and behavioral health; relaunch and turn up the dial with the Coalition to Protect America’s Health Care, of which AHA is a founding member, to bolster our efforts to tell the hospital story and push back on unfair, uneducated and uninformed criticism by those seeking to advance their own agendas, among other efforts.

Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to advance health in America. From all of us at AHA, best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

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