YVMC rejoices National Hospital Week

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National Hospital Week events at YVMC

- "Tuesday Tours" - Go behind the scenes at YVMC with a 45-minute tour of the hospital. Meet in the main lobby at 12:15 or 5:15 Tuesday.

- "Tea and Trifles" reception -YVMC nurses will be available from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to discuss their specialties and answer questions for anyone interested in nursing as a career.

- May "Taking Care of Me" program - Presenter Linda Starks, MSN, NP-C, will discuss YVMC's hip and knee replacement program at 6 p.m. Thursday in Conference Room 1.

— "Care you count on. People you trust" is the theme of National Hospital Week 2007, which is being celebrated this week by Yampa Valley Medical Center and nearly 6,000 other hospitals.

Today, we take it for granted that hospitals are healing places, dedicated to bringing new lives into the world and diagnosing and treating disease. That wasn't always the prevalent view, however.

Like the nation's first hospital, built in Philadelphia in 1751, most hospitals were located in large cities. But a majority of our hardy ancestors were rural farmers or small-town residents. What little formal medical care they received was provided in physician's offices or at their own homes when doctors made house calls.

Then came the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918. By the time it was over, more than 600,000 Americans had died, many of them in hospitals. People began looking at medical institutions as frightening places.

A Chicago magazine editor made a bold proposal in 1921 that helped to change public opinion. He encouraged hospitals to invite people inside to see modern advances and to quell their fears.

Hospitals responded, and on May 12, 1921, the country celebrated its first National Hospital Day. It was no accident that the day fell on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

The event expanded to National Hospital Week in the 1950s. It remains an important time for hospitals to honor health care workers and open their doors to the communities they serve. Yampa Valley Medical Center is planning numerous special events this week.

Tomorrow, YVMC will provide "Tuesday Tours." If you've never visited YVMC, or you would like to go behind the scenes and learn a little more about medical technology, meet in the main lobby at 12:15 or 5:15 p.m. for a 45-minute walk through the hospital.

Also tomorrow afternoon, YVMC's nursing leadership is hosting a "Tea and Trifles" reception for anyone who may be interested in nursing as a career. From 4 to 5:30 p.m., YVMC nurses will be available to discuss their specialties and answer questions.

The May "Taking Care of Me" program is scheduled for Thursday. This month's topic is "Total joint replacement at YVMC: world-class expertise and care with hometown compassion." Presenter Linda Starks, MSN, NP-C, will discuss YVMC's hip and knee replacement program at 6 p.m. in Conference Room 1.

For more information about any of these events, please call 870-1119.

The American Hospital Association estimates more than 5 million dedicated individuals work at hospitals throughout the country. YVMC will be thanking and honoring its 550 staff members at several events this week.

According to the AHA, today's version of National Hospital Week "demonstrates that hospitals are foundations of the communities that built them and nurture them." The AHA estimates hospitals admit almost 37 million patients annually, treat 117 million in emergency departments and see 545 million for other outpatient needs.

Hospitals are constantly advancing in medical specialties, technology, a focus on wellness and community service. During National Hospital Week, YVMC invites the community to stop by for a visit.

Christine McKelvie is public relations director of Yampa Valley Medical Center.

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