In the world of health care, May is typically a major month for celebration. It is the moment each year when we honor our nursing staff during Nurses Week and follow with an even larger gathering to honor all staff members during Hospital Week.
But this is not a typical year, and no one knows that better than you. Like health care workers across the nation, we are witnessing how every facet of our lives has been dramatically altered by this virus.
We know that communities need us now more than ever. While this is a point of pride, it also is a heavy responsibility. You answer the call every day to help patients and support their families, all the more challenging because no one knows when the ferocious hold of this pandemic will subside.
So it hardly feels like a time to celebrate.
This May will stand out like no other in the chronicle of modern health care. As you each take your rightful place in this historic moment, there is no greater time to acknowledge the extraordinary commitment of each of you – for your unselfish duty to your profession, your compassion for those who are suffering, and your unparalleled commitment to one another. And you do all this while bearing concerns about your families and your own well-being.
In past years this month would prompt a “theme” to play out across each of our campuses. If we had a “theme” this year, it would be a short, simple, two words. You would hear it when you go into every patient room, from every corner of every ICU, every nursing station, supply room or underground hallway – and we would say it over and over again.
Thank you for showing up each day. Thank you for wearing the protective gear that sometimes feels cumbersome or worrisome to your patients. Thank you for working with uncertainty, for not knowing if or how you can help the next patient, for accepting that despite all your remarkable skills and best training, no one has seen what you are seeing now. Thank you for demonstrating care and concern not just for our patients, but for each other.
We see you and all that you are doing. You’re doing a good job. Take a look for yourselves.
Whether you are doctor, nurse, therapist, pharmacist, dietitian, aide, housekeeper or volunteer, we know that your compassion for our patients – and the extraordinary acts of courage and compassion you show for each other – is what will see us through these coming days.
As the famed American author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou wrote, “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.”
You are what brings joy to this month of May.
Tori Bayless, Chief Executive Officer, Luminis Health