It’s been one year since the onset of the pandemic. In that time, we have been faced, as a nation, as a community, and as a healthcare system, with many challenges we had never encountered before.
Lots of things have changed, we don’t shake hands, we physically distance, we wear masks and hand sanitizer has become the norm. But, one thing has remained constant: the care that our healthcare system has provided our community.
The work our team has done over the past year is nothing short of extraordinary. There will never be enough words to express our gratitude for the dedication and commitment of our healthcare heroes across the entire nation and, of course, here at NCH.
I am thankful for this community for supporting our healthcare system during such difficult times.
NCH Healthcare System has remained open, safe, and we never reached capacity. Our team followed protocols and has continued to be diligent in keeping our patients and community safe. With thousands of patients and caregiver interactions throughout the pandemic, only two NCH employees have contracted COVID-19 from patient exposure and no patient to patient exposures have occurred.
Since the onset of the pandemic, NCH has discharged nearly 2,200 COVID-19 patients safely back to their homes. Recently, we have seen a dramatic decline in COVID-19 cases and inpatients, and it’s because of our healthcare professionals and our community who have made sacrifices and remained conscientious.
The sacrifices made by our healthcare professionals have been countless, and yet, they still come to work each day with a smile behind the mask, ready to care for their neighbors. That spirit has gotten us through our hardships, and that spirit has been subsequently felt by the members who make up our vibrant Southwest Florida community.
I’d like to also thank this community for their support, their encouragement, and their generous donations. Together, we raised $1.89 million dollars and received enough donations to purchases even Xenex germ-zapping robots and five Advanced Ultra-Violet Systems UV Boxes, which helps to keep all of our facilities clean and sanitized.
Over the past year, more than 38,850 meals have been donated to NCH and our team. Throughout the long days and nights, this community made sure to care for those who care for us all with sustenance and support; for that, I am so grateful.
While the pandemic isn’t over, there is hope on the horizon, we are seeing lower positivity rates, a decline in hospitalizations and expanding vaccine access. As I reflect on the past year, I can’t help but feel proud – proud to lead an organization as excellent as NCH Healthcare System, proud of the NCH staff, physicians and nurses, and proud to be a part of this amazing community that is truly remarkable. Thank you for your resilience and support.
Paul Hiltz, FACHEPaul
Hiltz is the President and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System, an alliance of 775 physicians and medical facilities in dozens of locations throughout Collier County and Southwest Florida that offers nationally recognized, quality health care to our community. For more information, visit .