Here at Kairos Government Affairs we are fortunate to represent a number of great clients, including several that are doing incredible work as our state and country come together to fight the coronavirus pandemic. In this seven-part series we’ll be highlighting how several groups close to home are impacting lives, providing relief and offering support during the unprecedented and uncertain times we find ourselves in today. Up first, the North Carolina Healthcare Association.

Healthcare Heroes

The North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA) is a trade organization representing all hospitals and healthcare systems in North Carolina. Its members provide care to those who need it 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. While hospitals are always critical fixtures in North Carolina’s communities– for the care they provide, the jobs they create and the tax revenue they generate– they have been more crucial and active than ever before as the novel coronavirus makes its way through the state.

Over the past several weeks hospitals have been doing everything in their power to address the present and projected impacts of COVID-19. They urged individuals to stay home to stop the spread of the disease. They proactively sought regulatory flexibility to increase bed capacity in anticipation of what the “peak” of the virus could bring. They continue to work with lawmakers at every level to obtain adequate and sufficient medical supplies. They continually revise internal policies and protocols to heighten employee and patient safety, as well as take inventive measures to prepare for the worst. And most importantly hospitals represent the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, where brave doctors, nurses and other medical professionals are risking their own wellbeing to save others.

As North Carolina hospitals brace for anticipated surges of COVID-19 patients in coming weeks, the concerning possibilities of insufficient personal protective equipment and bed capacity are top of mind. While healthcare personnel continue working day and night to treat increasing numbers of patients with possibly dwindling amounts of supplies, other groups are stepping up to help. Individuals across the country are sewing handmade face masks and donating them to hospitals facing shortages of personal protective equipment. Faculty and students in the N.C. State University Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering school are manufacturing disposable face shields to help protect medical staff. A group of thoughtful citizens is buying meals from local restaurants and delivering them to hospital workers in an effort to show their appreciation and gratitude.

Hospitals and their dedicated staffs are the front lines of coronavirus response, and it’s safe to say we all owe them a debt of gratitude for the incredible work they have done and will continue doing for as long as necessary to combat COVID-19. Check out some ways you can give back to hospitals and healthcare workers here, and learn more about NCHA, hospitals’ preparedness to care, the status of coronavirus in N.C. and much more here.