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Geisinger salutes nurses during National Nurses Week

As Geisinger President and CEO Dr. Jaewon Ryu and I rounded across the hospital campuses the past few weeks, we were impressed by the skill and compassion of our healthcare teams. Our patients are complex, and you’ve sacrificed yourselves to rise to your calling: taking care of others. I can see the dedication in your eyes, and it also shows in the mask lines across your cheeks. It reminds us all why we entered this profession.

There are two significant events taking place over the coming days, and both have special meaning to healthcare workers.

The week of May 10 through May 16 is National Hospital Week, where we recognize the innovation and selflessness of healthcare workers in keeping our communities healthy. This is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic and as we prepare to begin the process of safely and gradually returning to normal operations. Every person who works at Geisinger should be proud of their dedication to making health easier for our patients and communities throughout Pennsylvania.

Before that, though, the week of May 6 through May 12 has great meaning to all the nurses throughout Geisinger, as we recognize National Nurses Week.

Nurses play a vital role in caring for patients, comforting families, leading our teams and helping protect our communities. Many nurses have been asked to step into new roles during this crisis as our needs have changed, and their skills and experience are crucial in supporting our response to COVID-19. Every nurse is critically important, and there is no way we can call out all of the efforts that have occurred over the last weeks. But I have marveled at the LPNs who came out of the clinic to help us step up our team support in the hospital, refreshing skills you likely haven’t used in years. Thank you. And to the teams who helped staff the tents right out of the gate, thank you, too.

This year’s celebration holds an extra-special meaning, as it is anchored by the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern professional nursing. Florence’s primary area of achievement was around hygiene – with handwashing being one of the ways she advocated to curb infectious diseases. In much in the same way, we are practicing these same principles today to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. She set the standards for nursing education and practice, many of which still hold true today.

As nurses, you are compassionate, devoted and committed, and for these reasons and many others, we salute you.

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