As we celebrated National Rural Health Day Nov. 19, we could not ignore how the healthcare landscape has changed since last year. Who could have imagined we would be in the midst of a global pandemic, fighting a deadly virus that has changed the way we live? The reality of our new normal has taught us many things, but one thing I have learned for certain is that now, more than ever, it is vitally important that we acknowledge the necessity, the importance, and the power of rural hospitals.
Alabama's rural hospitals are the backbone of our healthcare system, showing their power through community, care and the COVID crisis. We've kept our doors open and continued to care for Winston and surrounding counties throughout this crisis and will continue to be here in the months and years ahead.
Lakeland Community Hospital provides care for our families, neighbors and friends close to home. Nearly two million patients were treated in Alabama's rural hospitals last year. Lakeland Community Hospital has tested 1,655 individuals for COVID-19, with 230 positive cases and 82 patients admitted for COVID-19. Our emergency department provides a pivotal role in caring for every patient, using the most up-to-date infection control practices available to all hospitals. We continue to be a place where anyone can come to our ER without fear.
During a pandemic, just like any emergency, every day counts and, without rural hospitals, many Alabamians would lose access to essential frontline services. Our team of 212 dedicated employees continues to be here, ready to care, treating patients locally when it matters most. We understand that our hospital plays a vital role as a cornerstone of this community, and we assure you that we take this role very seriously. Lakeland Community Hospital takes pride in providing access to quality healthcare, and we are committed to delivering it to our citizens for years to come.
Our hospital is thankful to be a part of the Winston County community and is honored to be able to care for you close to home throughout this crisis. We also want to thank the community for its tremendous support during this time. Your support of this hospital is critical all of the time, but has been especially meaningful during the pandemic. While we all hope for a better outlook for 2021, no matter what, we will be here to care for you.
CEO, Lakeland Community Hospital
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.