Each year, we take time to celebrate national nurses week (May 6-12) and national hospital week (May 8-14). The two events overlap by a couple of days. I think this is purposeful because hospitals can’t exist without nurses. Without nurses, hospitals couldn’t operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Without nurses, hospitals couldn’t provide one-on-one care to help patients heal, recover, get stronger, and better manage their illness or condition. Without nurses, patients wouldn’t have a committed advocate, devoted to their day-to-day state of mind, pain level, and other emotional and physical needs.

Nurses are the very heart of our hospital. That means not only are they responsible for compassionate care and patient support and advocacy, they are responsible for the well-functioning, well-flowing operations of our hospital.

The past couple of years have been hard for nurses. From the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when nurses confronted their worst fears and anxieties to show up for work to today when many are villainized for encouraging their patients to protect themselves from COVID and other preventable diseases through vaccination, nurses have endured never-before-experienced challenges. The nurses at Hereford Regional Medical Center and Hereford Health Clinic stayed with the fight, and I am deeply, deeply grateful. If you see one of our nurses at school, or church, or at the grocery store, please take a minute to thank them. You may never be a patient in our hospital, but our nurses’ commitment benefits everyone by making Hereford a healthier place to live and work.

I appreciate the hardworking nurses who care for patients in our hospital and clinic every day, but I didn’t want to let this week pass without taking a minute to express my thanks for their commitment to our institution, our patients, and our community. We literally couldn’t do it without you.

Thank you,

Jeff Barnhart, CEO, Deaf Smith County Hospital District