Living amid a pandemic this past year has been challenging for all of us, and although we are not out of the woods, on behalf of the hospital, we want to say thank you for the tremendous support we have experienced.
We also want to recognize the many people and businesses who have provided personal protective equipment, food for our staff, and monetary donations to procure vital medical equipment. To date all of your efforts have helped us appropriately manage our resources as we continue to experience not only an increase of people testing positive for COVID-19, but also associated hospitalizations.
I think we can agree that all of us share the fatigue of what we are experiencing, not to mention the negative impact on mental, physical, spiritual and financial health of people we know and others who have been adversely affected. In the months ahead, I am optimistic that we will begin to balance these variables of our lives in ways that will make us stronger, as adversity often does.
As we continue to work toward this future state, our medical community has a responsibility to ensure that our system of health care is strong and ready every day to meet the ongoing needs of the people of Sheridan and the surrounding area.
COVID-19 has added a layer of complexity to the already dynamic charge of providing health services to the region. As citizens, and consumers, we have an expectation regarding access to these services. As a team of health care professionals we work diligently to ensure these needs are met.
These services come from providing sound primary care from your medical professionals in the areas of internal medicine, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology. It comes from diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical care that you receive from a number of medical specialist in the area. It also comes from emergency and trauma care that you receive from our community of first responders, medical technicians and the team of emergency professionals at Sheridan Memorial Hospital.
Now, as we also consider patients suspected of a COVID-19 diagnosis, we concern ourselves with the continued spread of the virus and everyone's safety and health. Patients access our hospital at multiple points including our testing center, physician offices, urgent care and the emergency department.
Some patients are admitted directly to the hospital with a confirmed positive diagnosis of COVID-19, others are admitted with substantial symptoms as they await test results and many are asked to quarantine as they wait for word from the State Department of Health or their provider. Certainly all of this is stressful for patients and their family
As you can imagine it also creates a great amount of uncertainty for our staff and their families as well.
As we look at the days ahead, it is important for everyone to recognize that our capacity to manage the growing number of hospitalized patients and continue to provide the critical services necessary to meet the health care needs of our community is dynamic and dependent upon a number of variables, not just physical space and beds; but most importantly our people Our health care team is an extremely vital resource to the health of our community and keeping them healthy is of utmost importance to us. As we've seen this virus make its way across our country, we recognize that we all can help slow the spread and keep our health care system from becoming overwhelmed.
Over the past 10 months, we have been working every day to ensure the safety of our people and the preparedness of our system. Our health care teams are constantly interacting with sickness and although they go to great lengths to ensure transmission precautions are in place in every interaction with a suspected positive case, they are in fact at risk of exposure.
Despite all of these challenges, our staff and the entire medical community have done amazing work. I want to acknowledge their professionalism and outstanding effort. They show up every day in the face of the unknown and do their best to support one another in the delivery of health services for the people of Sheridan and the region.
They make us proud.