In commemoration of National Nurses Week, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department honored nurses at the May 4, 2021 Board of Supervisor’s meeting with Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart presenting a resolution. This year, the American Nurses Association and the World Health Organization extended the “Year of the Nurse” to 2021 to highlight the many contributions nurses have made toward combating the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses in all sectors of the health care system have bravely cared for sick even when doing so would put them at risk. Never has there been so much visibility of what nurses do to prevent illness and preserve life. Nor has there been a more appropriate opportunity to celebrate nurses as heroes.
Throughout the pandemic, Public Health Department nurses have served on the frontlines both in our clinics and in our community providing critical public health interventions aimed at preventing the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus. Testing, contact tracing, isolation, quarantine, and vaccination coupled with an increased focus on health equity are efforts these nurses competently provided and which have been key toward moving our community through the various Blueprint Tiers and closer to a state of normalcy. COVID-19 has revealed health inequities in the way it has unequally affected many racial and ethnic minority groups, putting them at higher risk of COVID-19 related severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.
“Nurses have been at the center of public health response to this pandemic. Their tireless efforts to protect every member of our community and care for those most impacted by COVID-19 have been key to getting us where we are now, nearing the end of this pandemic,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director. “We thank all nurses for their unwavering dedication. You are our heroes.”
National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s, birthday. Florence Nightingale was the founder of modern nursing and would have celebrated her 200th birthday anniversary last year.