About 30 miles separate Augusta Health and UVA Medical Center. We're colleagues who, together, play a vital role in the health and wellness of our intertwined communities. That's why, last week — amid the largest surge of COVID-19 patients our hospitals have seen since the start of the pandemic — we joined forces to launch a bold public education campaign to ask our communities to do their part to support our teams.
The message is simple but powerful: Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask, and consider alternative locations for COVID testing instead of our busy emergency departments.
Virginia hospitals are at the breaking point, and our teams are exhausted but still giving their all for our communities. I see it on the faces and hear it in the voices of many team members I meet on my daily rounds. Many of our community members may not know what's happening within our walls and the stress our teams are under unless they've been a patient in our care or have someone close to them who works in health care. This new campaign makes plain that critical reality and amplifies the voices of our care teams by rallying the support they need.
If you haven't read the joint media statement that Mary Mannix, Augusta Health CEO, and I made to the media, asking our communities for their help, I encourage you to take a look. Mary and I also took questions from the local media, who've been carrying our call for help on outlets around the region. Additionally, August Health and UVA Health are running a powerful full-page ad in our local newspapers.
Thank you to our frontline caregivers at UVA Health for making your voices heard, and thank you to our colleagues at Augusta Health for joining us to send this strong message. Sometimes in the health care world, we have to come together in new ways to protect and serve our communities, and this is another way that we're doing just. Now is the right time to bridge the valley and come together for the common good.
Take care and be well!