Last week, as we commemorated the anniversary of 9/11 and braced for a major hurricane, I was reminded of the many everyday heroes — emergency responders and healthcare workers.
I’ve highlighted these heroes often over the years, and am grateful for all they do to keep us healthy and safe.
A year ago, I commented on the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico. We now understand that nearly 2,975 people lost their lives due to Hurricane Maria (as a frame of reference, 2,977 people died in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 seventeen years ago).
Pediatricians were the first to call attention to immigrant families being separated at the border earlier this summer, when more than 2,600 children were separated from their families. As of August 30, nearly 500 children were still separated from their families.
We’ve all seen stories of firefighters and healthcare workers who lost their homes to forest fires out west this summer, yet showed up to do their jobs and help others. Lloyd Dean, president and CEO at Dignity Health, which has 48 hospitals and numerous ambulatory facilities throughout California, Nevada and Arizona, shared an important piece last week – “Coping with the Health Consequences of Wildfires.”
On a bright note, a team of creative and committed technologists using medical drone technology are delivering blood supplies and vaccines where roads are inaccessible in two African countries.
And we all probably know a nurse we’d consider a personal hero.
Technology has changed how we can forecast and plan for natural disasters like hurricanes. Technology has changed how we record and deliver a person’s prescriptions. Technology has changed how we keep track of a person’s medical record. And technology can do so much more.
But in a time of crisis, it’s about people helping people. Let’s remember the everyday heroes amongst us, recognize that they too have families and loved ones to worry about, and thank them every chance we get.