Celebrating National Hospital Week (May 7-13, 2023) in the Commonwealth of Virginia
May 8, 2023
Emerging from the Three-Year COVID-19 Pandemic Facing Financial, Operational, and Workforce Challenges, Virginia Hospitals and Their Team Members Continue to Serve Patients 24/7/365, Earn Plaudits for Patient Safety, Clinical Excellence, and Emergency Readiness While Responding to Rising Demand for Mental Health Treatment, Contributing to the Economy, and Increasing Access to Care
RICHMOND, VA – National Hospital Week (May 7-13, 2023) arrives this year as hospitals continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic while facing the ongoing disruption of persistent financial challenges and workforce shortages impacting the health care delivery system. Even as they confront those challenges, the dedicated teams at Virginia hospitals continue to lead the way as champions for strong performance in patient safety, clinical excellence, public health emergency readiness, workforce development initiatives, and strategies to strengthen the behavioral health system, all while being top employers and key economic cornerstones that contribute billions to the local and state economy.
In celebration of Hospital Week 2023, which overlaps with National Nurses Week (May 6-12), the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) has secured an official proclamation from Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin celebrating the many community contributions made by Virginia’s 110 acute care, children’s, rehabilitation, psychiatric, long-term care, and specialty hospitals and their teams of clinicians, caregivers, and support staff. VHHA has also produced a pair of new videos – one celebrating the work of nurses who are often the face of patient care in hospitals, and another showcasing the role of community hospitals as essential care providers – as well as a discount booklet highlighting companies that offer deals to hospital team members and health care professionals.
“Hospitals and their teams work around the clock each day to care for communities and patients, often with little notice or fanfare. During National Hospital Week, it’s important to take a moment and reflect on all the ways hospitals, physicians, nurses, technicians, administrators, and support staff benefit communities and improve lives,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton.
Eric Deaton, Ballad Health Chief Operating Officer and Chair of the VHHA Board of Directors added: “The past three years have been especially trying for hospitals and health care providers. As a member of a hospital team, I have seen this firsthand. Through it all, the commitment to care for people in need remained the central focus for Virginia hospitals as they simultaneously navigated the pandemic and related financial, operational, and workforce challenges. As we move forward on collaborative efforts to rebuild the health care workforce, strengthen the behavioral health system, and protect access to care, we do so with immense appreciation and admiration for the many ways hospitals and their teams enhance communities through all the public health contributions they provide.”
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, these are a few examples of how hospitals and their teams work to make the Commonwealth healthy and prosperous:
- Virginia hospitals contribute $3.1 billion in community benefit to the Commonwealth, directly employ more than 120,000 people in good jobs, provide $60 billion in positive economic impact, help deliver nearly 88,000 babies annually, accommodate more than 3 million annual emergency department visits, and more than 4 million patient days.
- Virginia hospitals regularly earn patient safety plaudits. The Commonwealth was second overall in the Fall 2022 Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade state rankings that are based on the share of hospitals in each state that earned “A” grades and remains top 10 among states. The Commonwealth has consistently been a high-achieving state in the bi-annual Leapfrog rankings: Virginia ranked second among states in the Spring and Fall 2022 rankings, first overall for Fall 2021, fourth among states in the Spring 2021 ranking, sixth in the Fall 2020 ranking, third overall in the Fall 2019 ranking, second overall in the Spring 2019 ranking, third overall in the Fall 2018 scores, and fifth overall in the Spring 2018 grading period.
- Hospitals from across Virginia have consistently been recognized as some of the best in the nation for clinical excellence by Healthgrades, which evaluates more than 4,500 hospitals across the nation by reviewing patient outcome data to compile its annual “Best Hospitals” rankings.
- Virginia’s high level of preparation for public health emergencies has been recognized several times in recent years. This includes the latest report by Trust for America’s Health, Ready or Not 2023: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism that again places Virginia in the top tier of states. The report measures state levels of preparedness to respond to a wide range of health emergencies including infectious outbreaks, natural disasters, and manmade events. Previous annual reports from Trust for America’s Health – including those compiled during the lengthy response to the COVID-19 pandemic – also ranked Virginia in the top tier of states in 2022, 2021, and 2020. Virginia has also been ranked among the top states in the National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHPSI) report that evaluates state readiness to respond to public health emergencies.
- Each year, Virginia’s hospitals accommodate the overwhelming majority of voluntary and involuntary behavioral health inpatient admissions to care for individuals with mental health and substance use treatment needs.
- Virginia hospitals continue to provide hundreds of millions in financial support each year to cover the state’s share of costs to fund Medicaid expansion that has enabled more than 700,000 Virginians to enroll in health coverage since 2019. In 2022, Virginia hospitals contributed more than $573 million to cover the state share of expansion costs.
About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 111 hospitals and 26 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its vision is through collaboration with members and stakeholders, to ensure the sustainability of Virginia health care system, transform the delivery of care to promote lower costs and high value across the continuum of care, and to improve health for all Virginians. Connect with VHHA through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
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