Hospital week, time to celebrate the staff

·3 min read

May 8—This is national hospital week and at Daviess Community Hospital officials are taking the week to honor the employees.

"Everybody loves to eat and I think just about every day this week there is something going on with providing a food treat for the staff," said Chairman of the Daviess Community Hospital Board Deron Steiner. "There's just stuff going on all week long to celebrate the employees and the job they do."

The week began with a pancake breakfast followed with some Scoops Ice Cream on Tuesday. Wednesday will be the We Care Awards. Thursday features a lunch and dinner from Subway and Friday a cookout.

"The thing we know is that the hospital is a building, brick and mortar. What makes it a real facility for the community is the people inside it and the car they give," said Steiner. "It is right that we focus this week on the people who provide the service to those who come through our doors."

Earlier this month the CDC announced that the COVID pandemic is finally over. Steiner points out that the pandemic showed how dedicated the hospital staff is to providing care for the community.

"I don't think there is any doubt," he said. "Especially in the beginning of the pandemic these folks went to work every day not knowing if would be the day that they got sick. They were putting their health and lives on the line, each day they went to work. We tried to tell them how much they were appreciated, but there really was no way to express how important their work and the care they provided was to the hospital, its patients and the community."

Hospital officials say they are not certain what normal will be in a post-COVID world, but they are looking forward to finding out.

"Hopefully, now, we will be getting back to normal, whatever normal looks like," said Steiner. "I hope we are past those bleak days that we saw at the early onset of the pandemic."

One of the biggest fears in many rural communities have come true in that a number of local hospitals have closed. Steiner says local leaders believe that the ongoing success of the Daviess Community Hospital is tied to the current and future development of Washington and Daviess County.

"I don't think you can overstate the need for this hospital to remain viable," he said. "Whether it is employers looking to move to the area or employers that are already here that need a quality place for health care for their workers or services done, like a drug screen or a trip to the ER for treatment for an on-the-job accident. Without the hospital those employers may not have as much faith to move to or stay in the community. It is absolutely vitally important."

Toward that end, of maintaining a hospital in the community, the hospital board is preparing to start an $8 million renovation project updating some of the key care areas.

"As a board we are committed to spending several million dollars over the next couple of years doing some major upgrades," said Steiner. "It has been 20, 25 years since those facilities were put in place and it is time for an upgrade. We, as a board, feel it is very important to invest in our hospital. It may be challenge, but we are 100% up to the challenge."

Steiner also noted that because of the location of Daviess Community Hospital and because there are not hospitals in Loogootee or Petersburg, the local operation impacts a much larger region.

"We have five contiguous counties," he said. "We don't just serve people in Daviess County. Folks have choices and we know we get a fair number of patients from Knox, Greene, Pike, Martin and Dubois counties. Our staff and administration is working to be the provider of choice."