National Nurses Week is recognized through May 12, which was the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered by many as the founder of modern nursing. I want to share the immense gratitude I feel for the nurses who work at IDHS. More than 750 Registered Nurses and LPNs are employed here - including in State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals, Developmental Centers, and schools.
Nurses are critical leaders in providing care to the residents, patients, customers, and students that we exist as an agency to serve. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, they have performed heroic work, day in and day out. If you know a nurse at IDHS, please make a point to say "thank you" for the effort, expertise, and compassion that they bring to our agency.
We are incredibly fortunate to have such a large, diverse, talented cohort of nurses at IDHS. As a week of Nurse Appreciation begins, it is fitting that the State - led by Governor Pritzker, also recently issued a Proclamation Honoring Public Service Recognition Day on May 4. I will always celebrate and uplift our employees, because of the extraordinary and selfless acts I learn about every day as Secretary of IDHS. So many of these selfless acts are performed by nurses, who represent the essence and the heart of public service at IDHS.
Finally, I am also conscious that as we approach Mother's Day, this Sunday, many of our colleagues - nurses and others - who work in 24/7 facilities will be at work. We thank you for your unwavering service. Even in these challenging, sometimes distressing times, we have so much to celebrate.
A simple thank you for all you do would never be enough. Please take good care.
Grace B. Hou