Imagine sitting in a hospital room, waiting for a test or procedure to be performed, a much-awaited diagnosis to be delivered, or spending your final days or weeks before passing. Now imagine that you’re sitting in that hospital room alone and the fear, confusion, and loneliness that often come with facing these moments by yourself.

Sadly, that happened in 2020 and still happens more often than you might think. No one should be forced to spend these critical moments without the comforting presence of family or friends.

I was so moved by stories like those that I authored the No Patient Left Alone Act, legislation that allows patients, with limited exceptions, to have a parent, spouse, family member, or other caregiver to be present when they receive care. It provides patients with a level of dignity during some of their most vulnerable moments. And I was so happy for these patients and their loved ones when Gov. Chris Sununu signed the act into law this year.

In addition, I was also happy to read about Portsmouth Regional Hospital’s No One Dies Alone program to make sure that patients with families outside of the area would not have to spend their final moments alone. At Portsmouth Hospital, they work with volunteers so that no matter the person or situation, at the end of life there is someone present to show love, care, and dignity in death.

This is why I want to express my gratitude to the caregivers who serve our communities daily. Our brave healthcare workers have battled a once-in-a-generation global pandemic and continue to fight, not only a Covid resurgence but also spikes in the flu and the respiratory syncytial virus. They routinely sacrifice time with their families and friends to ensure the health and safety of their patients and the safety of the communities where we all live.

To show my gratitude, I’m participating in HCA New Hampshire’s Cards for Caregivers campaign to show Healthcare Heroes across the Granite State that their communities support them by sending a physical or digital message of gratitude. The HCA includes Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, Parkland Medical Center in Derry, and Frisbie Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

I hope you will join me in this show of support throughout these winter months.

Their site has a printable card that you can download and send to our HCA Healthcare community hospitals in New Hampshire. You can also fill out a digital card that will be printed out and hung on the hospital walls along with cards mailed in so that Healthcare Heroes at the HCA Healthcare New Hampshire hospitals can view your message.

While the HCA New Hampshire campaign is one way to show your gratitude, I’m sure other hospital systems in New Hampshire will have similar campaigns to thank Healthcare Heroes. I urge you to participate at your preferred sites of care. Please reach out to your friends, neighbors, and co-workers and ask that they, too, join this simple way to show recognition and respect for those that do so much for all of us across the Granite State. Our Healthcare Heroes need a groundswell of support and gratitude as we end the holiday season and enter into 2023, knowing that while many of us enjoyed downtime with families and loved ones – their critical healthcare work is never done.