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CCH Celebrates National Hospital Week and National Long Term Care Week, May 8-14th

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CCH Celebrates National Hospital Week and National Long Term Care Week, May 8-14th

The week of May 8-14 is National Hospital Week. No, this is not a celebration of several thousand buildings around the United States, it's a recognition of the people who work there. Like a church or a nation, the hospital is actually its people.

In an eerie post-pandemic parallel, National Hospital Week began as National Hospital Day in 1921 to recognize the heroic efforts of healthcare workers after the Spanish Flu epidemic. I think it’s safe to say that the past two years plus has stressed everyone who works in healthcare.

We're not just talking about the people who see patients, we mean everyone. The hospital is quite possibly the purest form of a team effort.  Did you know in Campbell County that for every provider who writes a prescription there are 11 people on staff who take care of everything else?

They keep the lights on, prepare food, prevent the roof from leaking, clean the facility so we can hygienically work there, fight cranky computers, maintain complex equipment, clean surgical instruments, placate frustrated customers, deal with frustrating insurance companies, help patients with complex paperwork, manage contracts with vendors and make sure our plumbing works without pesky leaks.  There are also people who manage payroll so all of these folks keep showing up.

Everyone who sees or takes care of a patient is utterly dependent on all of these people, invisible as they may be during healthcare.  It's a big endeavor, and about 5% of the adults in Gillette work for Campbell County Health in these critical roles.

Towns without hospitals don't thrive.  People and businesses are not as likely to move to your town if there is no hospital.  Like running water and electricity in our homes, we tend to take the hospital's presence for granted; you only tend to notice it when it's not there.  Currently in the United States over 500 hospitals are fiscally stressed, almost 20% of all acute care hospitals.  This pattern tends to be worse in rural areas where hospitals have smaller markets, lower purchasing power, lack economies of scale and have higher government paid (or under-paid) healthcare market shares.  Hospital fiscal stress has been an unnoticed national "pandemic" for several years, not covered very much in the news.

In some way, everyone who works at Campbell County Health helps me care for my patients, and I would like to thank them.  Thank you.

Living in Gillette, you, too, probably know someone who works at the hospital.  This is a great week to say to them, "Thanks!".

John Mansell, M.D.

Chief of Staff, Campbell County Health

  • Category: CCH News