As National Hospital Week (May 8-14) is recognized across the country, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) praises South Carolina’s hospitals and healthcare workers for their courageous and caring roles in protecting people’s health.
In addition to the lifesaving work skilled staff and healthcare professionals perform every day, for more than two years, they endured the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly to care for patients and limit spread of the virus. Hospital workers also have been an integral part of the implementation of South Carolina’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination strategies, helping to perform more than 16 million COVID tests and administer more than 4.9 million doses of COVID vaccines.
“On behalf of DHEC, we cannot give enough thanks and gratitude to these incredibly important individuals who dedicate themselves to the health and wellbeing of others,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “Our state’s hospital workers have sacrificed so much over the past two years. We couldn’t overcome the public health crisis that COVID presented if it wasn’t for their selfless service. They are truly heroes.”
South Carolina currently has 94 licensed hospitals staffed with nurses, doctors, practitioners, and a variety of staff members who provide essential medical care and services to patients. DHEC works collaboratively with our state’s hospital systems and the South Carolina Hospital Association to promote disease prevention, individual care, and other resources that help keep South Carolinians healthy.
“We know that for many South Carolinians, seeing that ‘H’ sign on the highway is a signal that a hospital is nearby, but it’s really more than that,” said SCHA President and CEO Thornton Kirby. “It’s the people in the hospital who make the care possible, from food service and maintenance crews to the doctors and nurses at the bedside. As we celebrate National Nurses and National Hospital weeks, remember that H doesn’t just stand for hospitals – H is for Heroes and we are honored to celebrate them.
Since 1953, National Hospital Week has spotlighted hospitals, health care systems and medical professionals who work to save and protect people’s lives. The timing of Hospital Week coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, a 19th-century pioneer of nursing and health care whose activism helped reform and improve medical treatment and patient care.
“Our state’s hospital workers are invaluable,” said Gwendolyn Thompson, DHEC Director of Healthcare Quality. “We at DHEC send a resounding thank-you to all of our state’s medical professionals and hospital support staff who provide essential, life-altering care to South Carolinians in need and who have exceeded all expectations in the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.”