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Celebrating Hospital Week in the Midst of a Pandemic

April 23, 2020 | Branding
Child and doctor

Hospital Week is one of our favorite times of the year. It’s a chance to acknowledge the unsung heroes that make hospitals the inspiring places they are. It’s usually a week of parking lot BBQs, cookie deliveries and ice cream parties.

But this year is different.

Now more than ever, Hospital Week seems like an important celebration and a tradition of recognition at the hospital. Through the global COVID-19 pandemic, every person associated with the organization rose to the occasion, embracing the mission promise as a health delivery system. And while that may have looked different across various departments, the common thread is a commitment to the health and well-being of your community.

This year, your Hospital Week celebrations might depend on where your community is on the curve. Are you frantic in the peak? Are you starting to breathe again on the back slope? Or, are you still steadily bracing for the worst?

Obviously, gatherings are cancelled. But, here are a few ideas to recognize the amazing people in your hospital that show up when their community needs them most.

If you’re still bracing for the worst

If your hospital is still bracing for the worst, waiting nervously and double checking all your preparations, Hospital Week might be low on a list of priorities right now.

Here’s what you CAN do

Carve out some time with your hospital leadership to produce a video message (heck, it can even be a voice recording) to acknowledge the week. Communicate a message of optimism and preparedness. Talking points should include:

  • What the hospital is doing to prepare for the peak of the pandemic in the area
  • Reiterate any important policy updates or virus prevention tactics
  • Reinforce the bigger picture of public health and how the hospital’s missions and values fit into it
  • Thank employees for their long hours, commitment to safety and overall dedication for keeping their community healthy
  • Finally, empower employees with what they can do to support their hospital and community. Remind them to stay home if they are sick, support local small businesses, volunteer with other COVID-19 related efforts or it could be as simple as being patient.

Then share it on social media channels, link to it in the intranet, blast it out as an email, upload it to an app, share this message everywhere.

If you’re in the peak of it

Hospital what? During the peak of a pandemic, Hospital Week might seem a little silly to be talking about. But it’s so not. For the people that go home exhausted from the day and scared for the next day, acknowledgement and appreciation can keep them going.

Here’s what you CAN do

Last year we talked about getting out of the Hospital Week “ruts,” but this year promo items may be perfectly acceptable if some semblance of normal feels comfortable and safe. Small trinkets of appreciation are speaking volumes these days.

And don’t forget food. Reach out to any local restaurants or corporate partners to ask if they’d be willing to donate or sponsor meals for your hospital staff. If you have one, tap your foundation team members to take the lead on that communication. They most likely already have a list of supportive sponsors that’d be happy to help.

If you’re on the downward slope

Amazing job! Your community has faced COVID-19 and is starting to see the small victories of less flu-like cases in the ER and people going home from the ICU. There’s never been a better time to celebrate— with caution. Don’t fire up the grill just yet. Instead, take small steps to return to normalcy.

Here’s what you CAN do

We’re seeing a lot of amazing engagements from community members sharing their experiences or supportive messages for their local hospitals on social media. Collect these comments to create a slideshow of positivity that will encourage more positive comments and support.

Then, take these messages to the streets! Literally! Chalk art has popped up on hospital campuses across the nation. Gather some volunteers to decorate parking spaces, entryways and sidewalks with Hospital Week appreciation messages.

Hospital Week might be postponed but never cancelled

Lastly, Hospital Week ice cream parties and BBQs might be postponed but they shouldn’t be cancelled. When things start to return to normal, plan these events for time that suits your hospital best.

Bring your brand back stronger than ever 

In hopes of being helpful, we are continuing our part in helping you feel supported in these unprecedented times. With Hospital Week only a few weeks away, we have developed a Hospital Week Appreciation Campaign to give your front-line champions the recognition they deserve. Get connected with our strategy team for 15 minutes – we will show you how we can help. 

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