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Two years.  The most challenging twenty-four months any of us could have ever imagined.

 

It was two years ago today that New Hampshire announced it’s first case of confirmed COVID-19.  Since then, our state has seen almost 300,000 people infected, thousands of hospitalizations and close to 2,400 deaths due to COVID-19.

 

Through it all, our healthcare workers have remained on the frontlines of caring and healing.  It’s been tough, it’s been exhausting, and it’s been inspiring.  Hospitals have stepped up in many ways in support of their patients and their communities.  They’ve run vaccination clinics, they’ve stood up testing sites, they’ve altered their patient case loads to make sure that COVID-19 patients could get the care they needed, when and where they needed it.  And, most importantly, they have worked together, every day, to make sure that each and every one of them could manage the surge in patient care needs. That camaraderie is a shining example of why hospitals, represented by the blue & white H, are so very special and important to the health of their communities and our state. 

 

The latest fall/winter COVID-19 surge is starting to subside. But we must remain vigilant. Hospitals are going to be very busy for quite some time as they care for all of their patients, especially those that have waited for care. And the challenges that they confronted before and during the pandemic, from staffing shortages to the inability to discharge patients to post-acute care settings, behavioral health, blood shortages and more, have not gone away. 

 

On behalf of your advocates and partners at the New Hampshire Hospital Association and the Foundation for Healthy Communities, thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to serve your patients, your communities and each other.  Your tireless commitment and dedication are an inspiration to many and we are forever grateful for all that you do.

 

Steve Ahnen is the president of the New Hampshire Hospital Association.