Hospitals are a very important part of every community. Whether you are having a baby, being treated in the emergency room, or having an outpatient surgery, every employee in the hospital from the doctors and nurses, to the food service staff, to the janitorial staff is fully committed to improving the health of the community.
The first National Hospital Day was held on Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12, 1921. The idea for having a day to encourage trust in the city’s hospital was conceived by a Chicago magazine editor. The idea emerged in the wake of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918, which killed over 600,000 Americans. People were afraid of hospitals, and it was thought that a day spent educating the community on the purpose and functions of the community hospital would help alleviate some of the fear. National Hospital Day was expanded to National Hospital Week in 1953.
During National Hospital Week, community hospitals offer hospital tours, health fairs, seminars, and fun runs to help remind and educate community members of the pivotal role of hospitals. There is a focus on disease and accident prevention and wellness as well as presentations on the new services, technologies, and breakthroughs the hospital is using to improve the health of community members.
The week of May 11-17, 2014 is National Hospital Week. This is a time that we as citizens can take an active interest in learning about our community hospitals and how they serve us. It is also an opportunity for us to take a moment to say thank you to our hospital workers.
Our hospitals are vital to keeping us healthy and treating us when we are not. If we can understand their role in our communities, it will help us grow a stronger and healthier society. Find an event at your local hospital to participate in during National Hospital Week and say thank you to a hospital employee for their tireless work.