Public health plays a vital role in keeping our communities safe and healthy. The discipline of public health was created many years ago to prevent the spread of disease. Public health professionals used to be portrayed in news reports and movies as small teams wearing special suits battling localized outbreaks of frightening pathogens. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that public health really involves all of us, not just an elite group of specialists.
The Devastating Effects of the Pandemic
Healthcare workers in particular have had to make personal sacrifices and tough decisions both at work and at home while caring for patients with COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, technicians and others in hospital settings have often seen more patients die in a day than some of them might have typically seen in a year. They have had to deal every day with a deadly virus despite scarcities of personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators, and other supplies. Nursing home workers and residents found themselves and their facilities especially vulnerable.
Building Bridges for Better Health
Though the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been felt by many, they have also revealed the need for improving equitable access to quality healthcare. After all, healthcare facilities that work to support, heal and house vulnerable populations are the bedrock of every community. HMS supports better access to healthcare and health resources for all, and encourages communities to strengthen their public health initiatives to ensure that no one lacks the care and education they need to be healthy.
Recognizing Healthcare Heroes
After such a challenging year, we would like to recognize all of the courageous efforts made by public health professionals and healthcare workers. We deeply admire all of those who, despite the loss and devastation, continue working to save as many lives as possible. During National Public Health Week, we thank all of them for their selfless work. While more than half a million lives in the U.S. have tragically been lost to the pandemic, public health and healthcare professionals have managed to save many millions more.
A Special Thanks to Our HMS Family
At HMS, we witnessed the challenges posed by COVID-19 first-hand. During the height of the pandemic, our employees completed 871 infection control surveys in both long-term-care and non-long-term-care facilities across the nation. We are grateful to our dedicated team members for their work in fulfilling our mission of protecting vulnerable populations, even in the most difficult circumstances.