Celebrating National Hospital Week (May 10-16, 2020) in the Commonwealth of Virginia

May 11, 2020

Virginia Hospitals and Health Care Professionals Selflessly Serve on the Frontlines 24/7/365 to Care for Virginians Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic and all Other Times; Hospitals are Economic Cornerstones and Employers Supporting the Commonwealth, Working to Increase Access to Care, and to Make Virginia the Heathiest State in the Nation

RICHMOND, VA – This week, May 10-16, 2020, is National Hospital Week, which presents an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the many community contributions made by hospitals and hospital-based clinicians, caregivers, and support staff. This year, Hospital Week has added significance due to the unprecedented events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the public health and economic strain it has inflicted, and the central role of hospitals and hospital-based health care providers in combating the crisis.

To commemorate Hospital Week 2020, the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) has created a video highlighting the immense contributions made by the people who work in the Association’s 27 member health systems representing 110 hospitals that provide acute care and specialty medical services, behavioral health, psychiatric and substance abuse treatment, rehabilitation care, pediatric care, and more to meet the needs of patients across the Commonwealth. The Hospital Week video featuring images of health care professionals and caregivers from across Virginia can be viewed online here. (That video follows a previous celebrity “thank you” video dedicated to frontline health care providers which can be viewed here.) VHHA has also created a Facebook profile image frame celebrating Hospital Week 2020 that can be accessed here. And Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam has issued an official proclamation in honor of Hospital Week 2020 that can be viewed online here.

“Community hospitals are essential to the people and places they serve, providing round-the-clock care to patients in need no matter the time or day,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an unmistakable public reminder of the vital importance of hospitals as critical providers of compassionate medical treatment. The frontline health care providers who work in hospitals across Virginia have demonstrated great resilience in the face of an emerging public health threat while working tirelessly and selflessly to keep Virginians safe and healthy. In addition to that important work, Virginia hospitals help power the state economy, as major employers that contribute roughly $40 billion in positive economic activity each year. Hospitals also conduct research to achieve medical breakthroughs, help deliver more than 90,000 babies each year, and accommodate more than 4.4 million patient days annually.”

National Hospital Week dates to 1921 and is celebrated each year in May to coincide with the birthday of famed nurse Florence Nightingale. In Virginia, the General Assembly formalized state recognition of Hospital Week in 2015 when then-state Senator John Watkins (R-Powhatan County) sponsored legislation designating the second week of May that year and each subsequent year as “Virginia Hospital Week.”

In Virginia, hospitals are leading the way in responding to COVID-19 and on many other important public health initiatives, including:

  • The financial support hospitals are providing to cover the state’s share of costs to fund Medicaid expansion that has enabled approximately 400,000 Virginians to gain health coverage.
  • Grant-funded work by VHHA Foundation, the charitable non-profit affiliate of VHHA, to support the implementation of Hospital-based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIP) at participating hospitals to help provide enhanced hospital-based services and resources to victims of violence in high-need communities.
  • The VHHA and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) collaboration on the “Partnering for a Healthy Virginia Initiative” to identify strategies for addressing the social factors that impact public health.
  • Development of the Long-Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP) between Virginia hospitals and other partners to establish a comprehensive process for nursing homes to assist each other during disasters and emergency events, such as those that require evacuations.
  • The coordination of emergency management and preparedness activities through the engagement with the Virginia Healthcare Emergency Management Program (VHEMP).
  • Efforts to enhance behavioral health care, substance use treatment, and improve maternal health outcomes.
  • A determination to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation by focusing on enhancing health care quality and safety. That work has been recognized by the LeapFrog Group in its fall 2019 Hospital Safety Grade scores when Virginia earned a top three ranking among states, in the 2019 America’s Health Rankings annual report in which Virginia was among the most improved states, Virginia’s ‘A’ grade in the most recent report from the Center to Advance Palliative Care and the National Palliative Care Research Center, and Virginia’s recognition as a top tier state in the Trust for America’s Health 2020 Ready or Not report on emergency preparedness.

About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 27 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its vision is to achieve excellence in both health care and health. Its vision is through the power of collaboration to be recognized as a driving force behind making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


Julian Walker
Vice President of Communications
(804) 297-3193 office
(804) 304-7402 mobile