Straight Talk

May 21, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Last week, we celebrated National Hospital Week, which honors the May 12 birthday of one of healthcare’s patron saints, Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. She famously argued that the very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.

This commemorative week reminds us that hospitals help form the fundamental foundation of America’s communities. Just imagine living in a place that lacks 24/7/365 emergency facilities, full operating rooms and intensive care. Our lives would constantly be in jeopardy. Our peace of mind would vanish.

America’s hospitals are staffed by more than 5.5 million people who bring care, compassion and healing to our patients and our communities. The efforts of these nurses and emergency medical service professionals, physicians, administrators, information management specialists, home health personnel, lab techs, auxiliary members and volunteers, maintenance technicians, environmental service folks, food service workers, and many others are worthy of celebration every day.

Last year in Florida, the nation’s third largest and second fastest growing state, there were 314 hospitals with 2.7 million hospital discharges, 11 million total patient days, 1.4 million outpatient surgeries, 9.5 million emergency room visits, and more than a half million inpatient surgeries.

The economic impact of Florida hospitals is colossal. In 2013, this impact included 848,615 jobs created, $115 billion in revenue, $64.7 billion in total value added, $48.5 billion in labor income, $14.8 billion in other property income and $4.1 billion in indirect business taxes.

The significance to the health of the residents of Florida and to the state’s economy is massive. And that suggests that the health of Florida’s hospitals is critically important. Protecting Florida’s health care is essential for all.

In our community, NCH and the people who work here are the bedrock of community health. At NCH, we honored our 15 years-of-service colleagues (of which I am privileged to be one) at a luncheon in the Telford building; and our 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 years-of-service colleagues at dinner at the Naples Beach Club. Susan Ferrell, Lourdes Gabriel, Gregory Hughes, Annette Kaplan, and Sheila Phillips are our five colleagues who have served NCH and our community for 40 years. They were all youngsters when they began here, and each has contributed mightily to the success of NCH.

We also celebrated with thousands of our almost 4,000 colleagues and 670 medical staff members and their families for a fun night of exclusive use of the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens and the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon Water Park, the latter for two Saturday nights in a row. The second Saturday night was rescheduled to May 30 due to lightening. The theme for NCH Hospital Week was the Olympics and Diversity with foods from various cultures, fun games, ice cream socials, and team-made videos with a family theme.

Celebrating success, caring for the caregivers, and recognizing the importance of a healthy and vibrant healthcare system are essential ingredients in ensuring the health, happiness and well-being of the communities we serve. Our week’s theme My Team . . . My Family . . . My Hospital . . . resonates loudly though out the NCH Healthcare System.


Allen Weiss, M.D. Signature

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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