As Nevada Regent, I would
be remiss if I did not recognize and acknowledge the healthcare providers,
first responders and acute care hospitals in the Las Vegas community who on
October 1, 2017 responded to the largest mass shooting in our country’s
history. As I write, the death toll stands at 58 with 529 injured and 8
patients remain hospitalized.
While my mind still
grapples with the horrific nature of this event, the innocent lives taken, the
suffering and complete disregard for human life, I continue to be moved and
astounded at the heroism and kindness that has been demonstrated to us from
across the country. The Las Vegas healthcare community responded in fine
form. We as healthcare providers have a noble calling and it was never
more evident on that night:
- First responders literally came under fire as they rushed in to save others; others used their bodies as shields against the onslaught of bullets.
- The Hospital Emergency Incident Command Centers were stood up and responded in perfect fashion, coordinating distribution of hundreds of patients and attesting to the importance of practice drills.
- As true professionals many of our physicians and staff were dealing with their own loss and grief, yet treated hundreds of victims with empathy and kindness.
- From across the country, our hospitals have received cards, letters and banners signed by thousands of health care providers.
- From Orlando Medical Center to Loma Linda, California, messages of kindness and prayers arrived within days of the shooting. The thoughts and prayers of so many providers sharing in this grief moved us to tears and provided comfort.
- Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican hospitals have committed that patients treated as a result of this disaster not not be personally billed for their hospital stay.
To my ACHE colleagues:
From the moment the alarm went out, hospital leaders across the city
responded on-site, around the clock supporting staff, patients and
families. We can all be proud of the leadership demonstrated.
As our wounds heal, our
minds again find peace and comfort in knowing heroes walk among us. The support
of one another, other healthcare providers, unite us in our mission to care for
humanity and for each other.
As healthcare leaders and
members of ACHE, be proud of Las Vegas:
We Are #VegasStrong!
Teressa M. Conley, FACHE
Regent for Nevada