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Whether performing a small elective procedure or treating a life-threatening illness, hospitals are critical places that make a huge difference in the health of individuals, families and communities across the nation.

National Hospital Week is here to celebrate and show appreciation for all of the different people who are integral in keeping hospitals running smoothly while saving lives and making the world a healthier place.

History of National Hospital Week

The background of hospitals can be traced all the way back to ancient times in Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and India.

As health care practices evolved over time, with advancements in science and medicine, hospitals were often established throughout Christendom as a form of charity offered by the church.

Today’s hopsital systems may look radically different, but their purpose continues to be to bring health and healing to their communities.

The first National Hospital Day was celebrated in the early 1920s as a way of encouraging people to trust hospitals during the Spanish Flu pandemic.

By 1953, the day was turned into a week that took place over the second week in May, coinciding with the birthday of Florence Nightingale, May 12, 1850. This date was meant to honor the role that Nightingale played in revolutionizing hospital care in the 19th century.

Now, more than a century after the first day dedicated to hospitals, National Hospital week continues to be the largest health care event in the United States.

In 2024, the US Senate passed a resolution to officially recognize National Hospital Week, acknowleging the importance of the work that is done nationwide by hospitals, doctors, nurses and other caregiving staff.

How to Celebrate National Hospital Week

Thank a Health Care Professional

Those who know peopel who work at hospitals, whether friends, family, or other community members, can take some time during Naitonl Hospital Week to show appreciation for and celebrate these hospital workers.

Doctors, nurses, physical therapists, patient care assistants, administrators, volunteers and so many others work together to keep hospitals funning so that people’s health care needs can be met. Take some time during this week to say thank you!

Support a Hospital Charity

While some hospitals and health care systems in the US are now for-profit businesses, many of them still function as charitable organizations. With healthcare costs on the rise, these non-profit hospitals often rely on donors to keep their costs down.

Local hospitals might be hosting fund raising events are charity drives, but there are also other national hospitals that function as non-profits, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Consider making a donation or signing up to serve as a volunteer in honor of National Hospital Week.

Check Out National Hospital Week Resources

The American Hospital Association works hard to sponsor and support National Hospital Week in a number of ways.

Their website provides a number of different resources for celebrating this event, including graphics that can be shared online or through social media.

In addition, they also provide video testimonials of inspirational ways hospitals have made a vital impact on their communities.

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