Each hospital and health system has a unique and powerful story to tell. Whether it’s one of exceptional leadership in the community, an ongoing commitment to innovation or taking a stance on critical health care issues, we’re all making a difference every day.
What I strive to keep in mind myself, and remind my team of daily, is the importance of staying connected to our shared calling to serve and to never forget the impact we make — because, whether directly or indirectly, we take care of people during their most vulnerable moments.
Your hospital, too, has an important story to tell. Your hospital cares for everyone who walks through its doors and strengthens your community with valuable jobs, crucial innovation and an ongoing commitment to a more value-driven future
Those blue and white signs with the big “H” have always carried a promise of help, hope and healing. While this will continue to be a part of the hospital story, we’re also striving as a field to find new ways to promote health outside of our traditional walls because, when it comes to keeping populations healthy, we know that our responsibilities do not begin or end at the hospital door.
In today’s changing environment, we can’t continue to help people reach their highest potential for health without addressing the fundamental determinants of health. And no one expects us to do it alone. This new day requires us to work together, as a coordinated system of care, and in collaboration with those outside of health care.
This transformation is a good thing for our patients and the communities we serve. But change is not easy, and the unknown can often provoke anxiety. That’s why, now more than ever, telling our hospital story is so important.
Do your neighbors, friends and colleagues fully grasp the extraordinary contributions of your hospital? Do they understand the challenges you face, the legislative and regulatory obstacles you confront as you work hard to advance the health of individuals and communities, all while redefining yourself in a field that is rapidly changing?
If you haven’t already, I invite you to start that conversation today and share your story. The American Hospital Association’s “Advancing Health in America” website offers resources that can help you express how health care — and your hospital — is changing.
The site includes a sample infographic, sample social media content (blog post ideas, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts) and a sample op-ed column you can use in your community to inform patients, the media and policymakers about how your organization is redefining what it means to be a hospital in this new era.
Help to educate the public about the changes taking place in health care and share our dedication to advancing the overall health of America. Your hospital is like no other. Don’t wait … tell your story today.
Eugene A. Woods is president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, N.C., and chair of the American Hospital Association's board of trustees.