Palms West Hospital pays tribute to medical workers after one-year anniversary of COVID-19 response


A thoughtful display of letters spelling, "Heroes Work Here" in front of Palms West Hospital. Photo by Pams West Journal



The time to hear about positivity and good news surrounding hospitals is well overdue. It’s been just over a year since the Covid-19 virus was declared a pandemic and hospitals began to reach their capacity. A well-deserved and necessary appreciation of nurses, doctors, hospital staff, paramedics, and front-line workers has been at an all-time high and there is now time to take a deep breath and admire the relentless, hard work that hospitals have put into saving lives and stopping the spread of the virus. One hospital in particular that deserves a standing ovation is Palms West Hospital, who has not only done incredible work surrounding Covid-19 but has continued to thrive all-around through their many specialties. Marking the one-year anniversary of Palms West Hospital receiving their first COVD-19 patient, Loxahatchee Mayor Lisa Al-Ramey designated March 12 as Palms West Hospital Worker Appreciation Day.


Palms West Hospital is a full-service acute care facility with a full-service range of specialties from an ER, stroke center, cardiac unit, surgical center, level 2 NICU, and orthopedics & spine specialty institute. The hospital has a census of over 200 beds, 1,200 employees, and 655 physicians. Their focus is on patient-driven care and state-of-the-art technology in all services for residents of Palm Beach County, and their accreditations, awards, and recognitions show their hard work and the truth to their mission.


Being an HCA Healthcare hospital has many benefits that allow for the growth and success of Medical Centers such as Palms West Hospital. HCA Healthcare is a network of 180 hospitals and over 2,000 medical care facilities across the USA and UK whose focus is to “positively impact the care experience at the bedside and beyond.” According to HCA Healthcare themselves, their health system is able to analyze data from their 35 million patient encounters each year to create systems, processes, and protocols that are aimed at improving healthcare and patient care every day and to teach their employees best practices.


Recent recognitions that have been awarded include: Healthgrades’ 2020 Coronary Intervention Excellence Award; 2019 Gallbladder Surgery Five-Star Recipient; Healthgrades’ 2019 General Surgery Excellence Award; Healthgrades’ Patient Safety Excellence Award; Press Ganey’s 2019 Guardian of Excellence Award; Children’s Oncology Group 2019 accreditation; and Blue Shield’s Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery.


There is much more to running hospitals than one will see as a patient, or a visitor. For Palms West Hospital to continue to thrive, not only with Covid-19 precautions, but upholding their award-winning status and achieving their mission of caring for Palm Beach residents, hours of training, drills, precautions, and procedures are put into place and executed. South Florida Hospital News recently reported on how Palms West Hospital prepared for the surge of ER patients as Covid was approaching its highest point. According to the South Florida Hospital News report, Palms West Hospital held an in-depth simulation drill to examine and strengthen existing processes, procedures and capabilities to prepare for the inrush of in-need patients that they were anticipating. Dr. Richard Giroux, Chief of Emergency Medicine, ran the drill outside of their ER with staff working in every area of the hospital, to run through scenarios and learn how to better triage their patients.


Palms West Hospital was also one of 172 HCA Medical Centers who were chosen to participate in an important study around Covid-19 Plasma, studying and spreading awareness on how plasma can help patients' immune systems fight the virus more effectively.


However, Palms West Hospital has not only been about Covid-19 recovery, and underneath the depth of the hard times and darkness that has taken over 2020, there has been great news too. The maternity ward at Palms West Hospital is thriving, and it’s the exact type of news and joy that should be shared.


There has been a 20-30% increase in child births during the months of the pandemic and it is expected to keep up over the next few months. From twins to triplets, the maternity ward was a light in a seemingly dark tunnel, filled with bundles of joy.


Christine Lowman, RN, RN-OB, has been a Labor and Delivery nurse at Palms West Hospital, was awarded the 2020 Nurse of the Year Daisy Award after being recognized and nominated by her peers for her outstanding performance.


The pride that medical staff and nurses, especially, have been able to put into their work and their care, is something that should not be taken for granted and should be remembered and appreciated always. As time moves forward, it’s more important than ever to take the time to focus on the light news and the good news, especially surrounding the healthcare field. There is incredible work being done behind-the-scenes, and on the frontlines, with hospitals, private practices, and with first responders that may not always make the top headlines, but are always important to acknowledge.


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