May 6, 2020
To our nurses,
Nurses Week is very meaningful this year as we reflect on Florence Nightingale, who brought healing and comfort to patients suffering from illnesses much like we see today. On Tuesday May 12th, we celebrate her 200th birthday while preserving her spirit through the care we deliver to patients during this challenging time.
Florence Nightingale was known as the “Lady with the Lamp” as she made rounds at night, tending to wounded Crimean War soldiers at Scutari, the British base hospital in Constantinople. She is celebrated for professionalizing nursing roles and alleviating suffering for wartime heroes and other patients. Described as philanthropic, compassionate and determined, she also was steadfast in her commitment to improve hygienic conditions in hospitals. These efforts, which included rigorous hand-washing, significantly lowered the death rate at Scutari as soldiers battled cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other illnesses.
As nurses, you bring to life the ideals set forth by Florence Nightingale and the promise to do everything possible to heal those who suffer. You provide comfort in the most vulnerable of moments. During this pandemic, you respond with the same sense of commitment and sacrifice as nurses led by Florence Nightingale during the war.
We’ve heard countless stories of your strength and compassion. You have become extended family members to patients so that no one ever feels alone or isolated. At times, this has meant finding creative ways to introduce a baby to his grandparents, if even through a window; volunteering to fly across the country to help another hospital, because “that’s where they needed you”; and helping connect patients with their families in their final hours.
Your care comes in all forms. It’s often your reassuring words or when your eyes perk up as a patient knows you are smiling under your mask. Maybe it’s the countless calls you make to a patient’s family to provide them with updates on the health of their loved one. But always, and each time, you serve on a team that is saving lives.
You are very important to us and to this country.
Thank you for building hope and carrying forward the vision of Florence Nightingale.
With appreciation and admiration,
Ron Rittenmeyer, Executive Chairman and CEO, Tenet Healthcare
Saum Sutaria, M.D., President and Chief Operating Officer, Tenet Healthcare
Brett Brodnax, President and CEO, USPI
Joe Eazor, President and CEO, Conifer Health Solutions