It is with sincere gratitude that I celebrate National Nurses Week. This special week is a time to acknowledge the wonderful contributions all nurses make to our profession in providing high-quality and patient-centered care. This week, I attended a meeting at which Trinity Health President Judy Persichilli, RN acknowledged the religious women who founded our ministries, many of them nurses who through their sacrifices, lead the development of healthcare services in our communities. As I listened to these words of encouragement from Judy, I was bursting with pride to be a nurse and grateful for the many contributions nurses make to our healing ministry. You have built safe, reliable and compassionate care in a very complex environment. I think of how each of you do what it takes to adapt to all the changes that have been placed in front of us, including new technology, electronic health records and new methods of improving care, and doing all of this in a holistic manner that honors and respects the dignity of each person.
Doing whatever it takes to solve problems requires creativity and innovation while keeping a focus on person-centered care and responding to the demands to improve quality. It increases efficiency and reduces costs. To our nurses, you are the innovators in our care delivery system. Your thoughts, insights and observations are the ingredients that allow us to improve health care practices and policies. This year’s National Nurses Week theme, “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care,” emphasizes the role and influence you have in making the health care system work better for patients by improving their experience of care, improving the health of the population and by reducing the per capita cost of health care. As we continue to implement lean management methodologies here at Saint Alphonsus Health System, I encourage you to keep asking these key questions: “How can we improve? Are there better ways to work? Are we following best practices?”
As I think about Saint Alphonsus Health System’s journey during this complex and rapidly changing time, I reflect on how important each of you are to this work and the many contributions you make each day to our patients, our ministry, and our community. Our profession is a noble and trusted profession and critical for the health and well being of our nation. It also gives me great comfort to know that God is with us on this journey, providing encouragement and guidance. We are his workers as we minister to each other and our patients each day. Please let your fellow nursing colleagues know how much you appreciate their contributions and how they make a difference for others. Thank you so much for all you do and please enjoy the week.