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Hospitalists at the heart of our nation’s COVID-19 response

By Rohit Uppal, MD, MBA, TeamHealth Chief Clinical Officer, Hospitalist Services

On this National Hospitalist Day, I want to take a moment to express my sincere gratitude to our hospitalists. I know that this has been a challenging time for you and your families. I hope that each of you feel a sense of pride in the work we have done to ensure that we deliver outstanding and compassionate care during this pandemic. Our hospitalists across the country have shown up to serve under stress that most will never see in a lifetime. You did it every day, and you have earned respect and admiration.

There are so many incredible stories to tell, but I will share one that embodies the remarkable dedication and sense of service that I have seen from our hospitalists.

Recognizing hospitalists in the midst of the pandemic

Beginning in mid-March 2020, Hackensack Meridian Health JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, was at the heart of our nation’s COVID-19 response. TeamHealth hospitalists were tasked with taking care of all COVID-19 patients that were admitted to the hospital. Within just a few weeks, they were caring for a patient population nearly nine times their typical volume.

With this dramatic surge in volume, we called for volunteers to help. Despite the uncertainty and danger of a new, deadly virus, we were quickly inundated with volunteers. Within days, we deployed more than 60 TeamHealth clinicians from across the nation to serve this community in crisis. Leading and coordinating all of these efforts (as well as serving on the front lines) was one of our hospital medicine leaders, Hammad Rizvi, DO, senior vice president, Northeast Group.

These clinicians stepped into the gap to serve critically ill patients and bolster our colleagues and hospital partner at great risk to themselves.

This story of the courage and selflessness of so many hospitalists reminds me of a response from one of our hospitalists during a wellness call that I will never forget. She said, “I am 21 weeks pregnant and scared for the health of my baby, but I understand how critical my services are for our patients right now, and I want to continue to work for as long as I can.”

Celebrating National Hospitalist Day 2021

Annually, the first Thursday in March, National Hospitalist Day, celebrates the fast-growing specialty and recognizes hospitalists’ contributions to improving patients’ care and advancing medicine. The celebration this year is extra poignant.

This year more than ever, it is so important to recognize the amazing work that hospitalists do every day. I am proud of each and every one of you and the meaningful work that we do together. I am humbled by what you do each day to make the world a better place for all of us.

Happy Hospitalist Day to all TeamHealth hospitalists!