It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the first COVID-19 case appeared in California.
Our hospitals answered the call early on by expanding their capacity to care for surging numbers of COVID-19 patients as the virus indiscriminately attacked our neighbors, our colleagues, and our loved ones.
Nationwide shortages of PPE, supplies, and nursing staff further strained the health care delivery system. Then our hospitals were inundated with a tsunami of patients in the summer and winter months, flooding emergency departments and intensive care units with critically ill patients – with Southern California recently becoming the epicenter of the worst surge yet.
The health care community banded together to form unprecedented alliances and strengthened others. Public health leaders, emergency medical services, hospital leaders, elected officials and local and state partners came together with a common goal – to provide high quality care to our communities and to work together to combat the impacts of the pandemic. To this day, we continue to rely on our valued partners in each of our counties in this momentous effort and we’re grateful to have this coalition in our corner.
Through our concerted efforts, we have overcome unimaginable obstacles. I encourage you to review our 2020 Impact Report – I think you’ll share my pride in our many achievements.
As we pivot to focus on vaccination, and our hospitals experience a decline in the winter surge, we can envision brighter days ahead. Our optimism isn’t unwarranted – we should all reflect on the monumental accomplishments with gratitude and humility. Having said this we should also maintain a level of preparedness and vigilance moving forward.
Emerging variants threaten to unravel our progress and we have yet to see how active these mutating viruses will be as we race to put as many shots in as many arms as possible. This uncertainty paired with the eventual presentation at our facilities of those who have delayed care through this pandemic are justifiable causes for concern.
One certainty, however, is that our work will continue to tackle future barriers and empower our hospitals to respond to the needs of our communities. Our current and overriding goal remains the same – to move forward together and to position our members for what’s next.
As always, I encourage our hospital members to reach out with any challenges, questions or concerns you may have.
Take care and stay safe.