Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, HCA Healthcare colleagues sent in thank you notes as a way to show their support, admiration and sincere appreciation for colleagues on the front lines.

It takes a village

Robin Loftin, a consulting clinical analyst with the Clinical Services Group writes a note from the heart. “Thank you for your dedication in caring for our patients during these uncertain times. Please know that the long hours at the bedside often while wearing uncomfortable PPE, the sacrifice to you and your family, your adaptability in these challenging times, the emotional and physical stress you are enduring, your teamwork and commitment to your fellow healthcare workers, and the compassion you provide to patients and their families do not go unnoticed and are greatly appreciated.”

Robin, who worked as a critical care nurse for more than 15 years before transitioning into her current role, says it’s difficult to imagine how much the day-to-day operations have changed within the past few months.

“While at times the general public may think of the frontline caregivers during this pandemic as primarily EMS, doctors, respiratory therapists, and nurses, we need to make sure that ALL the hospital teams are recognized and supported since their expertise, hard work, contributions to patient care, teamwork, and collaborative efforts with bedside caregivers are all essential to HCA Healthcare’s mission: the care and improvement of human life.”

We need to make sure that ALL the hospital teams are recognized and supported.

— Robin Loftin

“I realize this list is not all inclusive and have not intentionally left out any departments, but I would like to thank the following teams: lab, blood bank, pharmacy, radiology, food and nutrition services, environmental services, supply chain, linen department, technical support teams, bed management, EKG department, chaplains, registration, security, education department, unit secretaries, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, transport, maintenance/facility operations, and cardiac rehab. In my past role as a nurse at HCA Healthcare, I witnessed members of all of these teams’ not just performing duties specific to their job roles, but also taking the time to say kind, supportive words to patients, families and bedside caregivers while also taking extra steps to help patients feel comfortable and cared for.”

Taking care of our own

From day one, we addressed the pandemic with two clear objectives. The first, to protect our people—keep them safe and keep them employed. The second, to protect the organization and ensure its viability from a financial standpoint so we can continue to serve our communities for years to come. Both endure today.

CarrieAnn Lewis, a practice manager from the TriStar Division writes, “Thank you to our company and every part of leadership for ensuring the employees are taken care of. It’s unbelievably humbling to be a part of a company that truly takes care of their own. Thank you to our front line workers: nurses, techs, doctors, RTs, and everyone in between! We ALL make a difference and are here to provide care in some form! Thank you HCA Healthcare for continuing to be a wonderful place to work and caring like family. You have stepped up in a time of chaos and proven to care for your people. THANK YOU!”

Back row (left to right): Tammy Hunt, Assistant Division Vice President; Angela Whitfield, Market Manager; Dr. Michael Yu, Neurologist; Dr. Suresh Chitturi, Neurologist; CarrieAnn Lewis, Practice Manager; Tom Rodgers, Vice President Physician Services Front row (left to right): Lisa McCormick, Registered Medical Assistant (RMA); Hannah Davis, Medical Office Specialist (MOS); Brittany Baggett, Medical Office Specialist (MOS); Nicky Williams, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA); Mayra Sanchez, Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Back row (left to right): Tammy Hunt, Assistant Division Vice President; Angela Whitfield, Market Manager; Dr. Michael Yu, Neurologist; Dr. Suresh Chitturi, Neurologist; CarrieAnn Lewis, Practice Manager; Tom Rodgers, Vice President Physician Services; Front row (left to right): Lisa McCormick, Registered Medical Assistant (RMA); Hannah Davis, Medical Office Specialist (MOS); Brittany Baggett, Medical Office Specialist (MOS); Nicky Williams, Certified Medical Assistant (CMA); Mayra Sanchez, Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)

Sharing hope

The HCA Healthcare Hope Fund has distributed more than $1.28M in COVID-19 grants to help nearly 1,000 colleagues. The Frist Foundation donated $1M to the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund to support colleagues affected by the coronavirus pandemic. HCA Healthcare’s CEO Sam Hazen donated 100% of his April and May salary to the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund. This inspired many other significant gifts from hospital, division and corporate leadership totaling $1M. These fundraising campaigns were fueled by an outpouring of support for our colleagues facing COVID-19 head on. “Even as a writer, I’m not sure words can adequately express my deepest gratitude for the commitment to our mission of every one of our extraordinary frontline heroes. I honor you and your work,” says Barb Armstrong, director of service excellence at Methodist Physician Practices in our San Antonio Division.

Pictured: Maria Lucio, Medical Assistant; Jessica Morales, Medical Office Specialist; Manuel Vogt, DO, Physician; Belle Soto, Medical Office Specialist; Dina Goytia-Leos, MD, Physician; Diana Alegria, Medical Assistant; Charlotte Lewis, Phlebotomist; Sandra Garcia, Medical Office Coordinator; Liz Mendoza, Medical Office Specialist; Donna Gonzalez, Medical Office Specialist; Roxy Rangel, Medical Assistant; Jonathan Moreno, Practice Manager; Cheryl Collins, MSN, ANP-BC, FNP-C, Nurse Practitioner; LaJerrica Vann, Medical Assistant

Pictured: Maria Lucio, Medical Assistant; Jessica Morales, Medical Office Specialist; Manuel Vogt, DO, Physician; Belle Soto, Medical Office Specialist; Dina Goytia-Leos, MD, Physician; Diana Alegria, Medical Assistant; Charlotte Lewis, Phlebotomist; Sandra Garcia, Medical Office Coordinator; Liz Mendoza, Medical Office Specialist; Donna Gonzalez, Medical Office Specialist; Roxy Rangel, Medical Assistant; Jonathan Moreno, Practice Manager; Cheryl Collins, MSN, ANP-BC, FNP-C, Nurse Practitioner; LaJerrica Vann, Medical Assistant

Nothing beats teamwork

Shelby Russell, an HR business partner at Memorial University Medical Center in the South Atlantic Division writes, “Many thanks to the 3,000+ team members at Memorial Health in Savannah, Georgia for your dedication, hard work and support you’re providing to children and families in our community. I sincerely appreciate your efforts every day. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay strong! #HCAStrong.”

Front row (left to right): Jennifer Woelber, HR Business Partner; Ray-el Gaston, HR Coordinator; Ashle’ King, HR Coordinator; Danielle Martin, HR Manager Back row (left to right): Alisa Griner, HR Vice President; Shelby Russell, HR Business Partner

Front row (left to right): Jennifer Woelber, HR Business Partner; Ray-el Gaston, HR Coordinator; Ashle’ King, HR Coordinator; Danielle Martin, HR Manager; Back row (left to right): Alisa Griner, HR Vice President; Shelby Russell, HR Business Partner

Home away from home

To help caregivers keep their families and themselves safe, colleagues providing direct care to COVID-19 positive patients and PUIs had the option to stay free of charge at a designated hotel. As of June 24, HCA Healthcare has helped 1,765 caregivers with securing more than 36,800 free nights at a hotel. So far, 142 facilities have utilized the program since it started and, on any given night, between 400 and 500 caregivers use the program. The average stay by our caregivers at hotels while caring for COVID-19 patients is around 21 days.

Many colleagues have sent in individual recognition for caregivers who’ve gone above and beyond during COVID-19. Liz Colin, a recruiter with Talent Acquisition at Medical City Healthcare Dallas writes, “Kimberly Carter, I just wanted to take a moment to recognize you, your hard work and dedication as a NICU Manager at Medical City Children’s Hospital. I also wanted to recognize Karla Jones, Manager of the CVICU and Lee Ann England, Director of Critical Care at Medical City Heart & Spine. The passion you show for our patients’ health is appreciated every day.”

Left to right: Kim Carter, Karla Jones and LeeAnn England

Left to right: Kim Carter, Karla Jones and LeeAnn England

Caring like family

Another group of colleagues that have played a crucial role during the pandemic is our respiratory therapists. Amir Beetajian, RRT, a respiratory therapist at Regional Medical Center of San Jose expressed his gratitude to the organization and his colleagues. “I thank you all for your support and understanding,” he says. “I love the atmosphere in our hospital since everyone works as a team and, honestly, I am not scared anymore…Thank you so much and God bless you all.”

In order to provide critically ill patients and their families the opportunity to say goodbye, the team at Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas, set up a tent that can be put outside of ICU room windows so family can visit amidst physical limitations.

While care team members made sure the family was comfortable inside the tent, Shelli Couts, RN, CCRN, an ICU nurse, was caring for the patient. “As a leader I was moved to tears watching as Shelli, his nurse that day, worked so hard in collaboration with all staff to provide therapeutic end of life care,” explained Mandy Perrigon, ICU assistant director at Menorah Medical Center. “She played music and spoke to him. She talked to the family and repeatedly let them know she would not leave him alone, holding his hand for them in his final hours.”

The tent has become a remarkable place of faith, togetherness and healing.

Community recognition

Finally, the sky is truly the limit for the many ways HCA Healthcare colleagues are being recognized in our communities. In Denver, Sky Ridge Medical Center colleague Kathy Sorge and her husband Greg displayed a message on the roof of their barn to let the HealthONE AirLife team know they are appreciated. They spelled out “AIR LIFE ROCKS” in large metal letters to ensure the crew could see the words of encouragement from above.

"Air Life Rocks!" printed on a barn roof near Denver

Crew member Matt Spoon told the local CBS affiliate that the message is not only appreciated, but motivating. “I think it means a lot to everybody to know that the community has our back and they understand this is a difficult time for us,” he says.

Pictures of gratitude

Scroll through the images and watch the videos below to see more thank-you notes to HCA Healthcare colleagues.