In almost a century of our existence, as a community hospital, we have faced a multitude of threats and challenges. This past year, though, has been uniquely difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic is by far one of the biggest challenge we have encountered—one that brought the healthcare industry together as a united front to protect millions of patients and families.
January 26 marked one-year anniversary of first COVID-19 case in Los Angeles County. Since then, over 1.1* million cases and more than 18,000* deaths have been reported. Reflecting on one year of the pandemic, I am deeply impressed by the agility and preparedness displayed by healthcare teams—constantly pivoting, taking on additional responsibilities, and showcasing courage on the frontlines. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, guidelines and directions from the government and scientific agencies also kept evolving; compelling us to pivot at a rapid pace to be in compliance with all regulatory norms. We were making decisions so quickly that certain decisions that may have taken us months to implement were done within a matter of hours.
I am inspired by the hard work and selfless passion exhibited by all caregivers, working tirelessly to ensure that patients and community receive quality healthcare during these challenging times. The pandemic has also strengthened our ties with our patients and community—we were, and continue to be, there for them when they needed us the most. I am grateful for their continued trust in us.
We started 2021 strong with access to the COVID-19 vaccines. A safe, effective vaccine is an undeniable prerequisite for long-term success in the battle against COVID-19. With the vaccine on our side, I am confident that this will be a promising year, with light at the end of the tunnel. I urge you all to receive the vaccine to protect not only yourself but your family, friends, and colleagues.
In late January, CHA HPMC stepped into the next phase of vaccinating the public as the only hospital-based drive-through vaccination point of dispensing site in the County of Los Angeles to safeguard the community. We have witnessed community members expressing their joy and excitement after receiving their vaccine at our drive-through vaccination clinics. This motivates us to expand our vaccination efforts and look at ways to further reach the underserved populations, to reduce the burden of the pandemic within our community.
As I look towards the rest of 2021, two things remain certain: our commitment to ensuring the safety of our caregiver family and our dedication to serving the needs of our community, while building a better normal and healthy future for everyone.
* Source: LA County COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard, Retrieved on February 18, 2021