Birmingham-area hospitals unite to celebrate health care workers

Friday, March 19, will be celebrated as “Birmingham Healthcare Heroes Day” by hospitals throughout the Birmingham community.

hc.workers.2UAB employees in their Birmingham Healthcare Heroes shirts.More than 39,000 health care workers from Birmingham-area hospitals will collectively don matching T-shirts in solidarity of their unwavering commitment to their patients and communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Friday, March 19, a day established cooperatively by Central Alabama hospitals as “Birmingham Healthcare Heroes Day.”

It has been more than one year since the pandemic started, when health care workers first began to feel the strain of caring for an influx of patients, implementing new safety protocols, navigating care for patients with the novel virus and more. Hospitals wanted to jointly offer gratitude and acknowledge the essential roles that health care workers play every day, but specifically over the past year during this once-in-a-lifetime public health crisis. Matching T-shirts were ordered and provided to health care workers, and each hospital will continue to identify unique ways to say thanks to their teams.

“All of the hospitals wanted to come together in solidarity to thank health care workers for going above and beyond in the past year to take care of patients, our communities and each other,” said Will Ferniany, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the UAB Health System. “The range of challenges that our health care workers overcame to continue to provide exceptional and lifesaving medical care to patients cannot be overstated, and we hope they know how valued they are today and every day.”

Participating hospitals and their health care entities and locations include:  

  • Ascension St. Vincent’s
  • Birmingham Veterans Affairs Health Care System
  • Brookwood Baptist Health
  • Children’s of Alabama
  • Cooper Green Mercy Health Services Authority
  • Grandview Medical Center
  • Medical West
  • UAB Medicine
  • Viva Health 

hc.workers.4Ascension St. Vincent's East employees wear their Birmingham Healthcare Heroes shirtsHospitals hope the community at large understands the numbers and variety of positions and areas that the term health care worker encompasses, as it took many people in many vital roles to keep health care entities safe and open this year. That includes but is not limited to nurses, environmental services staff, patient services, scheduling units, physicians, respiratory therapists, security units, administrative teams, speech pathologists, food and nutrition staff, lab technicians, and many more.

While Birmingham Healthcare Heroes Day is one day to express appreciation to health care workers, health care workers want community members to know how much their unwavering support over the past 12 months has meant to them.  

“The outpouring of support for health care workers from the community during this pandemic has been amazing, from meals being dropped off and kind comments from patients and families to T-shirts like these that help us all feel united,” said Josh Talley, R.N., MSN, manager of the Brookwood Baptist Medical Center Medical Intensive Care Unit. “These acts have provided smiles and comfort during a very challenging time and have kept us moving forward over the past year.”

The community can check out photos from Birmingham Healthcare Heroes Day and continue to support area health care workers by following and using the hashtag #Bhamhealthcareheroes.