Organizations reveal what they’re really made of in times of crisis. That’s why I’m deeply grateful for all the caregivers of Providence. Throughout the turbulence of 2020, you’ve reminded our communities that they can count on us when it matters most and that love, hope and healing still burn bright in the world.
This year is one we’ll never forget. So before it comes to a close, let’s take stock of the many ways our caregivers have served those in need and stepped up to meet the challenges of the last 10 months. Here are a few highlights that ought to make us all proud.
- Having admitted the first known U.S. patient with COVID-19 in January, the Providence system rapidly mobilized to respond to the pandemic. The early days of our response were captured in this PBS Frontline documentary.
- Our clinicians have been at the leading edge of COVID-19 research. We were first in the world to use Remdesivir to treat the virus. (Our experience is well described by TIME magazine.) Another therapy under investigation at Providence is the antibody cocktail used on the president.
- Within weeks of the first outbreak, we developed an artificial intelligence “chat bot” to triage patients virtually. We also ramped up telehealth visits and remote home monitoring, and are on track to reach 1.6 million video visits by year end.
- When global shortages of personal protective equipment became dire, we took matters into our own hands. Manufacturers stepped up to help us rapidly mass produce PPE, and the American Hospital Association scaled our 100 Million Mask Challenge (view in Chrome) nationally.
- Recognizing that COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint, we outlined and have been following a three-part plan to guide our journey ahead: Respond, Recover, Renew.
- The credit rating agencies Fitch (view in Chrome) and S&P reaffirmed our solid credit ratings and stable outlook citing our pandemic response, forward-looking strategies and commitment to innovation. Wrote Fitch, “Providence will be one of, if not the No. 1, leading technology innovator in the sector.”
- Starting with Southern California, we have begun unifying our diverse family of organizations under a common brand, which is an outward expression of our Mission.
- Deaths from suicide, overdose and alcoholism are another repercussion of COVID-19. The Well-Being Trust, established by Providence, found that the stress from the pandemic could cause as many as 150,000 deaths of despair and is investing in solutions to support those in need.
- The death of George Floyd has called us to reflect deeply and do our part to end systemic racism. Providence is investing $50 million to address racial disparities in health care.
- Healing our planet is a critical aspect of our vision of Health for a Better World. Earlier this year, Providence announced a commitment to becoming carbon negative by 2030.
- This year’s wildfire season wreaked havoc on many of our communities. Yet the dedication of our caregivers remained steadfast as evidenced by inspiring acts of heroism.
- The outcome of elections shapes policies that affect the health of our communities. Our nonpartisan Vote for Health campaign aims to educate people on voting and how to do it safely during the pandemic.
These are just a few examples of the inspiring work occurring across our organization. Even amid the greatest crisis of our lifetime, I have never been more confident in the future of our organization.
Our Mission endures because of our caregivers. Thank you for continuing to see the life and human dignity in every person we serve and for bringing your best to the job even in the toughest moments.