In a survey of 1,119 healthcare workers conducted by Mental Health America between June 2020 and September 2020, 93% said they were experiencing stress, 86% were feeling anxiety, 77% reported frustration, 76% were exhausted and burnt-out, and 75% were overwhelmed. And yet day in day out, they put on PPE and go right back to the frontlines of a pandemic that has consumed our world for over a year. Their ability to continue to wage battle against COVID-19 while dealing with the mental toll and physical exhaustion it takes on them is nothing short of heroic—and it is time we recognize that.
In this issue, you will find the inspiring stories of seven true healthcare heroes, including doctors, NPs, PAs, and even a student volunteer turned mask manufacturer who exposed the price-gauging ways of large corporations trying to take advantage of our horrible circumstances. Some of these individuals are dealing directly on the frontlines of the pandemic, while others are finding ways to continue to serve non-COVID patients who have had their care disrupted due to the pandemic. But all of them are heroes.
Of course, we aren’t the only ones to recognize what these courageous HCPs are doing. That’s why we also feature the story of 16-year industry veteran Ken Freirich who felt compelled to write an anthem dedicated to healthcare workers everywhere in order to lift their spirits during these difficult times. As his song’s refrain makes clear, “Healthcare Workers Rock!” and we couldn’t agree more.
Next month, you can expect even more inspiring stories of your industry colleagues who are making a difference during this pandemic. Our ELITE 100 includes a new category—COVID Heroes—which is dedicated to those people who are doing their part to help those in need, whether that is through charity, volunteering, developing treatments, or something equally important. You will want to read their stories as well as the rest of our winners who represent the most influential and talented people our industry has to offer.
Finally, on a lighter note, as a way to further engage with our readers and to have some fun we are starting a new feature—Photographs of the Month. We know this industry is filled with shutterbugs and we want to showcase your work. So, if you have photos you would like us to consider, then send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and they may end up in a future issue.