Celebrating National Hospital Week (May 8-14, 2022) in the Commonwealth of Virginia
May 9, 2022
Through More Than Two Daunting Years of COVID-19, Virginia Hospitals and Their Staff Members Continue to Selflessly Serve Patients 24/7/365, Lead the Nation in Patient Safety, Support Top Tier Performance in Emergency Readiness, Respond to Growing Demand for Mental Health Treatment Services, Strengthen the Economy, and Increase Access to Care in Pursuit of Making Virginia the Heathiest State in the Nation
RICHMOND, VA – The arrival of National Hospital Week (May 8-14, 2022) this year comes a little more than two years after the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was documented in Virginia in March 2020. In that time, the individuals who work in Virginia’s hospitals and health systems have displayed extraordinary courage, heroism, and dedication while caring for patients under incredibly challenging circumstances. Even during this period, Virginia hospitals earned accolades for leading the nation in hospital patient safety scores, clinical excellence, and for being part of a health care delivery system that has helped the Commonwealth gain recognition as one of the states best prepared to respond to public health emergencies.
To commemorate Hospital Week 2022, which also coincides 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 hospital-based clinicians, caregivers, and support staff. VHHA has also produced a new video highlighting some of the team members who care for patients and keep hospitals thriving even while battling a global pandemic, meeting a growing public demand for mental health treatment services, contributing to the state economy, and working to strengthen the health care workforce and increase access to care to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. The video includes images and footage captured during a pair of statewide hospital appreciation tours that VHHA supported in recent months.
“The past two years have been truly challenging times for our hospitals and their team members, who have continued to deliver exceptional quality, compassionate care under extraordinary conditions,” said VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton. “While COVID-19 remains a threat, we have thankfully made great strides in combatting the virus and protecting our fellow Virginians from its harmful effects. At the same time, our hospitals are incorporating the lessons learned from the pandemic to prepare for future public health challenges while also working to rebuild the health care workforce and enhance access to behavioral health services that Virginians need. During Hospital Week, I encourage Virginians to reflect on all the great work done by the doctors, nurses, and support staff who help keep our hospitals open 24/7/365 to serve patients in their hour of need.”
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 115,000 people in good jobs, provide $45 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.
- During the pandemic, Virginia hospitals treated and discharged more than 108,000 COVID-19 patients, administered more than 2 million vaccine doses, added thousands of hospital beds to accommodate patient needs, pursued effective strategies to boost testing and address shortages, supported efforts to increase ventilator capacity, served as a national leader in the use of new treatments and therapeutics such as remdesivir and monoclonal antibodies, and adapted staffing models and developed innovative solutions to expand the health care workforce to serve patients, all while enduring significant revenue losses associated with the pandemic.
- Virginia topped all states in the Fall 2021 Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade state rankings that are based on the share of hospitals in each state that earned “A” grades. The Commonwealth has consistently been a high-achieving state in the bi-annual Leapfrog rankings: Virginia ranked 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.
- The work of Virginia’s hospitals, public health and emergency management agencies, and other public and private sector stakeholders to effectively navigate the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis was again recognized by the 2021 National Health Security Preparedness Index (NHSPI) which ranked Virginia as one of the states best prepared to respond to public health emergencies. Virginia has also been ranked in the top tier of states by Trust for America’s Health in the Ready or Not 2022: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism report that measures state levels of preparedness to respond to a wide range of health emergencies including infectious outbreaks, natural disasters, and manmade events. Virginia also earned top ratings in that report in 2020 and 2021.
- Virginia hospitals continue to provide millions in financial support each year to cover the state’s share of costs to fund Medicaid expansion that has enabled more than 500,000 Virginians to gain health coverage.
About VHHA: The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association is an alliance of 110 hospitals and 25 health delivery systems that develops and advocates for sound health care policy in the Commonwealth. Its mission is to achieve excellence in both health care and health to make Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. 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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