BY JOHN GREEN
What an absolutely eventful and wild year we have had in healthcare. Each May, in conjunction with National Hospital Week (May 8, 2022 – May 14, 2022), I like to take the opportunity to provide an update and say thank you to our healthcare team.
Between March 2020 and now, I can honestly say that I, like many, have lost track of time. My wife and I will discuss the age of a relative, and I invariably miss a year or two as life has been rather blurry with all of the unique challenges that have existed over the past few years. Every industry has had their challenges throughout the pandemic for a myriad of different reasons, depending on how in-person their business was and how the pandemic shutdown assisted or worsened their business.
I think the healthcare story is pretty well told by now. We have been dramatically challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, but I am proud to say that as an industry and as our company, we have continued to push forward and strive for quality. Here at Iredell Health System, we have treated over 2,200 inpatients with COVID over the course of this pandemic, along with thousands more in our emergency department and provider clinics. Thankfully, 90 percent of those individuals hospitalized with COVID at Iredell Memorial were discharged home or to a lesser level of care, which was much better than the national average for recovery. This is a strong point of success for our organization. At the same time, while that number gets a lot of the publicity, this equates to only approximately 30 percent of our overall inpatient volume at the hospital during that same time. It also doesn’t address the hundreds of thousands of other visits that occurred throughout Iredell Health System.
Despite the challenges we faced with COVID, we kept seeing and taking great care of others during these unique and frustrating times.
During this week and throughout the year I remain steadfastly proud of my teammates here at Iredell Health System as we work to continue to follow our organization’s original charter of improving the health and wellness of our community. Our 1,700-plus employees have continued to work hard, and we all appreciate your support as your locally owned and operated, nonprofit healthcare organization caring for our friends, relatives, neighbors, and community.
I’m also proud of and thankful to all healthcare providers in our region. As a community, we are very fortunate to have multiple hospitals in our region, including both Davis Regional and Lake Norman Regional, in Iredell County. Not many communities have such access to hospital care as we do locally, and it is a blessing for all citizens to have such great choice.
This year’s National Hospital Week slogan is “We are Healthcare,” and hospital systems are certainly an essential bedrock of the healthcare system. At the same time, especially this year, I think it is essential to consider all healthcare providers as part of our thank you, whether that’s Piedmont HealthCare or an independent provider practice, a local nursing home, school system, home health and/or every other type of location too voluminous to list where a dedicated individual is providing care. It truly takes all of us working in concert to see improvement and success with our overall community’s health. It must be a global goal among all healthcare providers regardless of the logo on their jacket to strive for that. I hope and personally believe that the pandemic has assisted everyone to see and share this vision and look forward to continued successes in improving our communities together. Iredell Health System is here to lead this effort, and I commit that we will continue to work toward seeing it through to success for each and every one of us.
Again, thank you to all involved in this care; whether in a caring or supporting role, it takes all of us!
Finally, I would be absolutely foolish if I did not take the time to wish a wonderful Mother’s Day to all moms out there today. I know my two children and I have been most fortunate to have my wife Patti constantly take care of us, as mothers always do. We are very thankful for her as I am sure you are also for the mothers in your life, past and present.
Please take a moment today to thank all of the healthcare workers and mothers! That is a lot of thanks, and all of it is so deserved.
John Green is president and CEO of Iredell Health System.