'You are seen, heard, admired': 6 hospital execs say thank you to staff

The week of Thanksgiving provides an especially appropriate time to express gratitude. With this year's own challenges, including an omicron surge and earlier-than-usual surges of respiratory syncytial virus, the holiday season is a time to reflect on the positive aspects of the year and say thank you to those who have made it brighter.

In honor of this season, Becker's asked hospital and health system executives to share notes to their staff.

Carolyn Carpenter. President of Johns Hopkins Medicine in the National Capital Region (Washington, D.C.): When you come to a hospital, ambulatory setting or other clinical space, there are so many staff members you meet, as well as those behind the scenes, who work together as one team to care for you and your loved ones. I am humbled by and grateful for every individual who chooses to bring their talents, compassion and sheer generosity to caring for our community, whether that care is provided at one of our hospital-based or outpatient facilities, or in a place of worship, school or civic center. 

Every member of our team — whether clinical, essential support, allied health or operations — is dedicated to caring for others, while ensuring that quality and safety are ingrained in our processes, and that the experience of care reflects our core values. 

When I round at our hospitals, I always experience so many moments of inspiration, thanks to our medical staff and employees. What makes many of these moments impressive is our team members, who step beyond their immediate role or duties to help others. This happens every hour of every day. It is the hand held, the smile given, the escort to an unfamiliar location, the discussion that goes far beyond the time expected, and the extraordinary efforts made to recognize the special needs of our patients. Our team members become part of the family and fabric of our patients' lives, and they do this without hesitation and with a generosity of spirit that is immeasurable. There are so many individual moments of kindness and care that together, form a larger constellation of who our team members are and what they value. 

To each and every one of our very important team members, thank you. You are seen, heard and admired. You are the stars in our world. Your colleagues, your board members, your community, and most importantly, your patients and their loved ones, are thankful. 

Maulik Joshi, DrPH. President and CEO of Meritus Health (Hagerstown, Md.): Brightness from obscurity. 

No one knows better than you the unknown, the challenges and the darkness we have faced for the last three years.  You faced them, you overcame them, and you keep going. As positive as you all are, though, we know this incomprehensiveness, this obscurity, is tiring. 

From that obscurity is brightness — that is you! You are a bright light to the person who walks into the emergency room, to the dad anticipating their first child, to the person at home waiting for a bed delivery, to the person getting an X-ray, and to the person visiting their grandmother in the hospital. You are that person who makes their day, their time, that moment better. 

Thank you for being the bright light for our community. Thank you to the 4,000 Meritus Health team members, volunteers and medical staff for all you do. Thanksgiving gives us the time to say thank you, though please know that thank you is for every day.

Thank you for providing brightness from obscurity. 

Omar Lateef, DO. President and CEO of Rush (Chicago): I am grateful to everyone who works at Rush. Whether you are in Aurora, Oak Park, on our University Medical Center campus or at any of our locations throughout the Chicago area, you bring great skill and extraordinary commitment to your work each and every day. 

Thanks to you, we deliver on our mission to improve health and have accomplished so much in 2022. Those accomplishments are reflected in the awards that consistently recognize Rush as among the nation's best and the gratitude that our patients and their loved ones share with us every day. 

Every person in every role at every level has contributed to this success, whether you're directly involved in patient care, teaching, research or community service, or you perform the essential supporting work that makes it all possible. 

I said early in the COVID-19 pandemic that you all have saved lives, and it remains true today. Together, we have overcome the challenges of COVID-19. Rush is growing, with exciting new locations, programs and partnerships. None of it would be possible without all of your tremendous work, and without you supporting each other.

On behalf of the entire leadership team at Rush, you have my deepest thanks, admiration and respect. Thank you. 

Pete McCanna. CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health (Dallas): Thanksgiving is full of traditions. For some, it means traveling to visit relatives. For others, it is a day for gathering with friends or serving others. But no matter how it is celebrated, the holiday is about giving thanks and expressing appreciation.

This year, I am especially grateful for the difference you make in the lives of those we serve. Every day across our system, you bring our values to life in ways big and small. Your impact does not go unnoticed, and our patients, customers and team members are better because you are here.

And because there is much to be grateful for, I encourage you to join me in a gratitude challenge. To participate, say thank you to at least three colleagues, acknowledging the ways they make a positive impact. You can recognize them with an EnCore Thank You Award, or you can send a simple text or email, pull them aside after a huddle, or buy them a cup of coffee — whatever feels most natural for you.

I also want to express my sincere appreciation for those who will be at the bedside this Thanksgiving. I know you will bring the spirit of the season into our hospitals and clinics, and for that, I am deeply grateful.

Dane Peterson. Interim CEO and President and COO of Emory Healthcare (Atlanta): Thank you to all of the team members at Emory Healthcare who provide tremendous care to our patients and their families daily. I am so grateful for the expertise, skill and compassion you provide to keep our mission of "improving lives and providing hope" at the core of everything we do. 

From our many clinicians to our support staff to our administrative staff, your determination and drive have pushed us through several very difficult years. Without all of us working together and collaborating as a larger team, we would not be where we are today. Thank you for supporting our community and each other, and for making Emory Healthcare the best it can be every day. As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all who are a part of Emory Healthcare.

Greg Till. Chief People Officer of Providence (Renton, Wash.): Providence has a promise we make to every community member and every caregiver: "Know me, care for me, ease my way." Given the level of burnout in our industry right now, we know we have more work to do to actualize this promise every day for our caregivers. Despite that, every one of them, clinical or administrative, has been steadfast in delivering on this promise, embodying compassion, dignity, excellence and love in every interaction. While we know there is more to do, we've invested significantly to recognize, retain, recruit and reskill a strong team to help pave our path through current challenges. We've also doubled down on mental health and well-being resources to help caregivers in need. I want to say thank you to all Providence caregivers for responding to the call to serve, especially to those who are most vulnerable, and for delivering our Promise to our patients and one another. Because of you, we are able to take the steps needed to create health for a better world.

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