When faced with extraordinary challenges, people can accomplish extraordinary things.

During National Hospital Week, May 10–16, HCA Healthcare is recognizing the amazing people who are the lifeblood of our 186 hospitals.

“Our hospitals, and the colleagues who serve within them, are part of, and fundamental to, valuable community infrastructure,” says HCA Healthcare’s CEO, Sam Hazen. “Above all else, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. I appreciate the sacrifices you and your colleagues make to honor this mission. As we celebrate hospital week, I want to thank you for your dedication, your hard work, and for being a part of HCA Healthcare.”

This year, our colleagues have faced unprecedented adversity, and they’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty to care for patients—and for one another. The stories that have emerged from our hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic demonstrate the strength, compassion and ingenuity of our HCA Healthcare colleagues. And these stories aren’t limited to those of the colleagues caring directly for patients fighting COVID-19. They cross all disciplines, from IT to food and nutrition services to environmental services and many more.

Here are just a few examples of teamwork throughout HCA Healthcare that we’d like to highlight in honor of Hospital Week 2020.

Connecting patients

Our patients usually can find comfort in being surrounded by their loved ones while in the hospital. But while visitor restrictions during the COVID-19 outbreak can keep families physically apart, HCA Healthcare’s support teams have gone the extra mile to make sure isolated patients don’t feel alone.

Left to right: Minisha Morris, CIC, Director of Infection Control; Ivan Rivera, Technical Analyst I, IT; Jorge Macias, RN ICU; Isabel Cabatic, RN ICU; Joey Martinez, Director of IT; Pedro Alvarez, Technical Analyst II, IT; Danielle Grundseth, RN ICU; Juan Garcia, RN ICU Coordinator; Henry Costa, MD

Left to right: Minisha Morris, CIC, Director of Infection Control; Ivan Rivera, Technical Analyst I, IT; Jorge Macias, RN ICU; Isabel Cabatic, RN ICU; Joey Martinez, Director of IT; Pedro Alvarez, Technical Analyst II, IT; Danielle Grundseth, RN ICU; Juan Garcia, RN ICU Coordinator; Henry Costa, MD

“Our IT department is determined to give our medical staff the best technology to battle COVID-19,” says Pedro Alvarez, technical analyst II at Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. “We worked closely with our ICU and ER units to ensure that we met all their needs so they can help our patients.”

The IT team also created a virtual visitation plan so family members can video chat with their loved ones in the hospital.

“Witnessing our patients’ reactions when they see their loved ones is all the motivation we need to keep working hard,” Pedro says.

Sharing a smile

Tracy Sherman, EVS tech, Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Tracy Sherman, EVS tech, Grand Strand Medical Center, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The work of HCA Healthcare’s Environmental Services team is critical to preventing infection and keeping hospitals running cleanly and efficiently. These days, they’ve taken on an added responsibility: providing comfort to patients whose family members aren’t allowed to visit.

“Sometimes we are the first people a patient sees,” says Tracy Sherman, an EVS tech at Grand Strand Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C. “And they are excited to see a smiling face walking through the door.”

Offering peace of mind

Aleshia Cooper, Dietary Services Supervisor, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Houston

Aleshia Cooper, Dietary Services Supervisor, The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Houston

Dietary Services Supervisor Aleshia Cooper and her team at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston are taking “care like family” to a whole new level. Besides the meals they serve daily to colleagues, patients and visitors, the team is also preparing 500 sack lunches every day for colleagues to take home to their children.

“Giving our colleagues one less thing to worry about when they get home after a 12-hour shift is a wonderful feeling,” Aleshia says.

In addition, several Food and Nutrition Services teams throughout the organization have set up grocery stores for colleagues, so those on the front lines have a convenient place to pick up food staples.

Adapting to change

On a normal day, you’d find Lisa Jones, surgical first assistant, and Terry Fehn and Kelsey Bolar, certified surgical technologists, in the operating room at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington, La. However, in the dynamically evolving era of COVID-19, they’re using their skills to sterilize mission-critical personal protective equipment (PPE), such as goggles and face shields, instead.

Lisa Jones, CST surgical first assistant, and Terry Fehn and Kelsey Bolar, certified surgical technologists, Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Covington, La.

Lisa Jones, CST surgical first assistant, and Terry Fehn and Kelsey Bolar, certified surgical technologists, Lakeview Regional Medical Center, Covington, La.

“Whether I am sterilizing surgical instruments or goggles for my hospital staff, my job is to ensure patient safety and the safety of my Lakeview family. Whatever needs to be done, you can count on us,” Terry says.

For more stories about how HCA Healthcare colleagues are stepping up in the fight against COVID-19, read “Voices from the Frontline.”

This Hospital Week, give colleagues—and yourselves—a big pat on the back. For coming to work when others were asked to stay home. For touching lives when others were asked to keep their distance. For standing together and caring for those in need. Thank you!

Watch our Hospital Week 2020 video: