One year ago, March 11 marked a day like no other. The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the world as we knew it changed forever. Nowhere was the impact felt stronger than in health care and with Alameda Health System (AHS) providers who found themselves faced with the insurmountable task of responding to an unknown virus impacting patients across the county we serve.
Throughout COVID-19 AHS providers have demonstrated commitment and resilience and continue to be real-life examples of serving and caring for all. They’ve worked long hours, postponed planned time off, supported colleagues and their families and risked their lives to make sure that AHS is here for all who rely on us for their care. In addition, many providers continued to serve while also having to bear the loss of co-workers and loved ones who died from COVID-19.
In recognition of National Doctor’s Day, on March 30, 2021, the first thing that comes to mind is our gratitude and thankfulness for everything that our AHS providers have done and continue to do during COVID-19. It’s been a year like no other. Hope is in the air now that we have the vaccine which is our strongest tool in the fight against the virus and our ability to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
We want to acknowledge the incredible physical and mental toll this pandemic has taken on physicians. It has been widely reported that many physicians across the country are considering leaving the profession due to the stress of COVID-19. We encourage AHS physicians to make themselves a priority and have a plan to maintain their wellness to avoid burn out.
This includes taking care of themselves, physically and also socially and emotionally, making sure they have a strong community of people around them. Having balance in life provides a necessary resilience. With the increased demands on new and seasoned physicians, both personally and professionally this can be difficult, however it is essential that they make time.
After more than a year and COVID-19 still not over, the pandemic continues to unify our physicians and care teams as we work to vaccinate as many people in the hardest hit communities as quickly as possible. The vaccine is our strongest weapon in the fight against COVID-19 and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated with the first vaccine made available to you. All of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and our best way to end the pandemic.
At AHS our mission is to serve all. On Doctor’s Day and every day we are honored and humbled to stand with you in support of our mission during these unprecedented and challenging times. It’s been an incredible reminder of how together we are healing our communities, forging a path out of this pandemic and providing hope for a healthy future.
Dr. Ghassan Jamaleddine
Chief Medical Officer