*The piece below initially ran as the Sept. 17, 2021 edition of the NC Chamber’s Executive Memo e-newsletter.
This past weekend, as America paused to honor those individuals whose bravery two decades ago gave us reason to hope in a time of darkness, it was hard not to also think of the countless heroes whose service and sacrifice have kept hope alive for so many during this pandemic. On behalf of the entire NC Chamber family, I’d like to say thank you to these heroes this week.
More specifically, I want to thank the health care workers, organizations, and advocates whose commitment to the well-being of our state’s citizens allows the rest of us to support North Carolina’s recovery in other ways. Our Chamber team thanks the hospitals, health networks, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and other care providers who’ve adapted their operations to battle this pandemic. We thank our partners in the health advocacy community, including the North Carolina Healthcare Association, the North Carolina Medical Society, the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, and many others who work hard every day to represent this vital industry. And of course, we give profound thanks to the nurses, doctors, pharmacists, first responders, support staff, and other medical professionals who’ve worked tirelessly and selflessly to put the care of other North Carolinians first.
The NC Chamber is honored to represent and partner with many of these organizations, industries, and individuals. Our members in the health care sector and our advocacy partners who focus on this industry have helped us to understand more clearly the challenges defining daily reality for frontline workers and other health professionals. The Delta variant has undoubtedly put new pressures on this industry and further impacted the physical and mental health of its workers, especially those on the frontlines. This is one reason why we are engaging with partner organizations like those advocates mentioned above to explore policy outcomes that can better connect health care providers and other employers with resources to support their employees’ physical, mental, and financial health.
Like our health care heroes, the larger business community has been doing our part to support North Carolina’s recovery from this pandemic. Employers across sectors have utilized expert advice and acted to prioritize the well-being of our people and our state, promoting vaccinations and testing, providing essential PPE, and pivoting our operations to continue serving the everyday needs of our citizens. The NC Chamber is committed to empowering job creators to keep doing our part by offering open access to the latest COVID-mitigation resources for business – including vaccine- and testing-related information – and by continuing to explore pathways to provide employers with enhanced tools to protect our people and reduce COVID-related burdens on our state.
All that said, it’s our health care professionals who form the vanguard in the fight against COVID-19. Each day, in communities throughout North Carolina, frontline doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals summon the courage to face battles few others can comprehend. We owe each of them an immense debt of gratitude. On behalf of myself, the NC Chamber family, and the wider business community, we extend our sincere and heartfelt appreciation to these individuals.
To our health care heroes: Thank you for everything you’ve done, and everything you continue to do, to bring hope to North Carolina through your service to our citizens and our communities.
Gary J. Salamido
President and CEO