Giving thanks: 8 hospital CEOs, CNOs write thank-you notes to nurses

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, eight healthcare CEOs and CNOs wrote thank-you notes to front-line staff members who serve patients daily — nurses.

Joel Allison. President and CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas): A message of thanks to all Baylor Scott & White Health nurses: 

One of the best parts of my job is hearing kind words and receiving notes of praise about our staff from patients and their loved ones. It's a daily affirmation of the work of the Baylor Scott & White family. Often, the encouragement and gratitude I hear about is regarding our nursing staff — both individual nurses and our nursing team. 

The praise is well deserved. Over my four decades in healthcare, I've learned that to be a nurse is to be a servant to others. There is no more noble a calling. From the most trivial of tasks to the most significant, our nurses care for patients in a way that no one else can.

In addition to hands-on care, our nurses are there to offer a warm smile or words of reassurance that many patients need to overcome whatever challenges they face. Our nurses are there long after physicians finish their rounds and friends and family have left for the evening. They are there no matter how challenging a case may be. They are there for our patients no matter what. At Baylor Scott & White, behind every award, every exceptional satisfaction score and every great outcome are our amazing nurses. 

I am forever grateful to our entire nursing staff for your selfless dedication to our patients and our organization.

Eric Bieber, MD. President and CEO of Rochester (N.Y.) Regional Health: To our nurses:

Throughout my career — as both a physician and an administrator — I have been blown away by our nurses' extraordinary commitment to patients. You are the heroes at the front lines of care, providing tireless service that plays an incredible role in the outcomes and experiences of every patient. Your "patients-first" mentality, healing hands and kind hearts are the face of this healthcare system. So during this time of thanksgiving, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation for your continued service and dedication to our community. Today and every day, I am thankful for you.

Mark Frey. President and CEO of AMITA Health (Arlington Heights, Ill.): At Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude for all the blessings of our lives. We reflect on our great fortune in our families and friends and their continued health and success. We also recognize the many others whose grace and generosity have touched our lives in ways both profound and unexpected.

At AMITA Health, we are fortunate to rely on thousands of dedicated nurses who live our mission daily to provide compassionate care to those we serve in sickness and in health. You touch the lives of thousands of patients and their families every year and embody AMITA Health's commitment to delivering the most efficient, high-quality, faith-based care possible. We cannot deliver on that commitment — or even contemplate making it — without you.

I'm sure thousands of families across our region will be thinking of how you touched their lives as they gather together for Thanksgiving this week. On behalf of AMITA Health, I thank you for all that you do to give so many something to be thankful for this holiday season.

Holly Lorenz, MSN, RN. Chief nurse executive of UPMC (Pittsburgh): Each and every day, I am grateful for our nurses and caregivers here at UPMC and for the gifts that you give our patients. As chief nurse executive of UPMC, I would like to thank each of you for your passion for nursing and for the compassion you show our patients and families.

I am thankful that by working together, we are able to create the best experience and guide our patients in their healthcare journey. But especially as Thanksgiving approaches, I am thankful and proud that you have chosen UPMC for your career.

In today's hectic, busy environment, we occasionally take for granted the many sacrifices of our valued nurses. The truth is, your unwavering commitment to our patients and their care is what enables UPMC to thrive in western Pennsylvania and beyond. Your dedication to your profession and the time you sacrifice away from your loved ones during the holidays are greatly appreciated. You embody our values and the spirit of Thanksgiving.

I speak for myself and the entire UPMC leadership team when I say that we are truly grateful for each and every one of you.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Denise Mihal, BSN, RN. Executive vice president and chief nursing and clinical operations officer of Novant Health (Winston-Salem, N.C.): To the nurses at Novant Health,

There are many qualities that set Novant Health apart from other organizations, but one that gives me great pride is the way you, our nurses, bring your passion to our patients. It's your dedication that our patients experience daily, in the way you serve them with compassion and creativity.

The nursing profession is truly a gift. Our patients often come to us vulnerable and afraid, with more questions than answers. As a nurse, it's our role to be their advocate, confidant and interpreter. It's an honor that they trust us and it's a privilege to care for them in their time of need.

Our performance over the past year is a testament to what we can accomplish for our patients when we work together. I am especially proud that eight of our facilities have received Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, as well as many other certifications and recognitions. That is because of you. 

Caring for people in need can be exhilarating and inspiring, but it can also be exhausting. I want to offer my deepest thanks to all of you, for the amazing work you do every day to provide remarkable care throughout our communities.

You are vitally important to Novant Health's mission. Know that we would not be whole without the talent and special gifts you bring to our organization. You matter. The mission you're a part of matters. I'm honored to serve with you and I'm grateful for each and every one of you.

David Pate, MD. President and CEO of St. Luke's Health System (Boise, Idaho): As we gather with our friends and families for holiday celebrations, I want to share my gratitude for the incredible team of nurses who go above and beyond for St. Luke's and our patients.

St. Luke's nurses inspire me and make me feel very proud to be part of the extraordinary family that is our organization.

Over and over this past year, I have heard stories of the dedication and commitment of our nurses and their passion and enthusiasm. I've heard of heroics in our hospitals, clinics and community settings, service delivery above and beyond the call, and exceptional experiences delivered each and every day.

St. Luke's nurses' sustained engagement and ongoing effort to make the implementation of our common EHR system as good as it can be is a powerful example of the spirit of our nursing team and nursing leadership, and I am so very grateful for that ongoing endeavor.

And as the spouse of a nurse, the father and grandfather of sometime patients and as a periodic patient myself, it's incredibly meaningful to know that St. Luke's nursing care is delivered consistently at the Magnet level, as designated by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Thanksgiving and every day, I am so honored to be part of the St. Luke's family. St. Luke's nurses top my gratitude list. 

Blessings and happy Thanksgiving to you all.

Carlos Prietto, MD. Interim CEO of Hoag Orthopedic Institute (Irvine, Calif.): It is with immense gratitude that I say "thank you." As we reflect back over the past years, we could not be where we are today without the contributions each of you make collectively here at HOI. Superior outcomes and patient-centered care is at the core of what we do and others continue to notice. We've recently been designated as a 'Best Place to Work in Healthcare,' an affirmation of the excellence and passion each of you brings to the organization.

As we embark on another new year together, let us keep our focus on our mission, vision and delivering value-based healthcare. 

Shannon Richardson. Administrator of Shuksan Healthcare Center (Bellingham, Wash.): It's that time of year when articulating one's appreciation for others seems to be the thing to do! That said, my personal feelings of gratitude toward you, the heartbeat to our success as caregivers here are Shuksan Healthcare Center, is unwavering and continual year around. It is you, after all, who has chosen a career path of complete selflessness to care for others in need.

Each day, you choose to provide the best quality, compassionate and tender care for our residents; sometimes, but not always, a thankless job that can be overlooked. I am writing to you today to let you know that we see what you're doing — and we, your colleagues and the residents you serve, value and cherish you!

During this holiday season, I hope that you'll be reminded of why you chose this career path and be proud of who you are and the many positive qualities you possess. Our residents are so very fortunate to have you on our caregiving team — and I, as administrator, feel grateful as well. Thank you for choosing to share your gifts with us at Shuksan Healthcare Center.

Here's to a very happy Thanksgiving holiday to you and yours.

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