Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

National Hospital Week is a nationwide recognition week dedicated to hospitals and healthcare workers for the service they provide to their communities.
Today, hospitals are viewed as essential organizations. But, it took Americans awhile to get used to the idea of a hospital. The first hospital was built in 1751 in Philadelphia at the urging of Benjamin Franklin. Early hospitals were far from today’s modern technological marvels. While they served a vital role, it took some time for the public to grow accustomed to hospitals. In their early history, they were often viewed as unfamiliar and often frightening places.
It was a massive, nationwide outbreak of the “Spanish flu” in 1918 that put a spotlight on hospitals. The outbreak was the deadliest epidemic in American history. It was so widespread, it naturally shifted some attention toward the institutions and people that provided the care that was needed.
During this time a Chicago magazine editor proposed the idea of hospitals opening their doors for a day to give the public an opportunity to come inside and see how modern advances had turned hospitals into impressive care centers. The public responded. On May 12, 1921, fittingly on Florence Nightingale’s birthday, America celebrated its first National Hospital Day.
The idea spread across the country and was expanded to National Hospital Week in 1953.
National Hospital Week continues to be held each May during the week of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. It serves as a symbol of this legendary nurses lasting impact on health care.
According to the American Hospital Association (AHA) there are currently nearly 6,000 hospitals and over five million healthcare workers in the United States.
Locally, Tyrone Hospital and its 160 employees, seventy-five affiliated medical staff members and a variety of community volunteers serve the residents of northern Blair County and neighboring areas. They provide general medical and surgical care, a variety of outpatient testing, 24 hour emergency care, the Keystone Headache and Pain Management Center, and ProCare Rehabilitation services.
“Our role as a small community hospital is to provide primary care services, that is the type of medical and surgical care that people use most often,” said Walter Van Dyke, CEO at Tyrone Hospital. “Our facility lends itself to getting outpatients in and out in a timely manner.
“Our size also allows us to provide more personalized attention. That is the service we provide to the community.”
Each year Tyrone Hospital holds its annual employee recognition for years of service around the time of hospital week. During the week nursing administration announces the recipient of the Spirit of Nursing Award, an award granted annually to a nurse who demonstrates outstanding performance. There is also a tabletop display in the main lobby listing employee names and years of service as well as information about Tyrone Hospital. The hospital family also celebrate by enjoying a picnic lunch, ice cream sundaes, and a dress down day.

By Rick