Strengthening the Hospital Workforce

September 20, 2021
Maryland hospitals have faced staffing challenges for as long as many of us can remember. Now, more than 560 days into the COVID-19 pandemic, these problems have become much more acute.

The American Nurses Association earlier this month urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to declare the current and unsustainable nurse staffing shortage a national crisis.

Short staffed and under strain, we are keenly aware of the pressure the pandemic has placed on those who are closest to it—our dedicated hospital workforce.

Last week, we hit a grim milestone in our state: More than 10,000 dead from COVID-19. Our physicians, nurses, and other caregivers have bravely treated and released more than 47,000 Marylanders since the outset of the pandemic.

The hurt is unimaginable. And on Friday we marked National Physician Suicide Awareness Day with the knowledge that COVID-19 has worsened burnout among those on the front lines in the daily battle to save lives.

To help address this important issue, MHA on Friday sent a letter to Maryland’s Congressional delegation asking them to support the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act. This bipartisan measure aims to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, and behavioral health disorders among health care professionals.

This is a particularly fraught time for hospital workers, who are exhausted and enduring stresses both at work and at home.

Your associates form the backbone of your organizations. Together, we can strengthen our people to weather the current crisis and continue to care for Maryland well into the future.

Bob Atlas
President & CEO 
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