When the World Health Organization designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife last year, no one could have imagined just how much spotlight would be shown on healthcare heroes around the world as we together faced the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we reflect on the year, the HCA Today team has rounded up our most read stories of 2020. The stories you were most interested in focused on collaboration, social justice and, most of all, the frontline caregivers who provided care like family through this challenging time. And in the Year of the Nurse, it’s only fitting that the top performing post was “Five nursing stories from the front lines.”

Thank you to all of our readers — we value the guidance you provide us when you react to these stories on our social media posts. So we’ve included our top three social posts for 2020, as well. We look forward to keeping the conversation going in 2021!

10. November 2: HCA Healthcare colleagues team up to help ensure health, safety for final presidential debate

When Belmont University hosted the final presidential debate of 2020 in October, HCA Healthcare helped to ensure a safe debate for event attendees, campaign teams and media guests. Nearly 600 HCA Healthcare colleagues volunteered to help implement health and safety protocols. Several colleagues shared their stories of serving their community and country.

HCA Healthcare colleagues and caregivers help to implement health and safety protocols at the final presidential debate of 2020 in October.

9. June 23: A message from HCA Healthcare’s Chief Diversity Officer

In June, chief diversity officer Sherri Neal reflected on the nationwide social movements to combat systemic racism and acknowledged that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted the Black community. She shared several initiatives focused on how HCA Healthcare can best provide support to our Black colleagues and communities and reaffirmed our active responsibility to a diverse and inclusive culture.

HCA Healthcare’s chief diversity officer, Sherri Neal

8. October 15: Belmont University and HCA Healthcare announce plans to launch new College of Medicine

HCA Healthcare and Belmont University announced plans to start a new college of medicine together. As the nation’s leading provider of graduate medical education, HCA Healthcare is honored to team up with Belmont University to address the critical need for physicians in the U.S. and shape the physicians of tomorrow in pursuit of our mission to care for and improve human life. Nashville-based affiliate TriStar Health, will provide a vast learning environment for Belmont College of Medicine students and residents.

(Left to right) Belmont University Board of Trust chair Marty Dickens; former HCA Healthcare CEO and current board member Milton Johnson; Belmont University president Dr. Bob Fisher; Heather Rohan, president of HCA Healthcare’s TriStar Division; Dr. Michael Cuffe, president of HCA Healthcare’s Physician Services Group (PSG)

7. April 16: HCA Healthcare provides ventilators to Dynamic Ventilator Reserve in battle against COVID-19

As COVID-19 became a reality, we were eager to leverage our scale and resources to help others. At a White House briefing with President Donald Trump, HCA Healthcare CEO Sam Hazen announced the launch of the Dynamic Ventilator Reserve, a public-private collaboration that distributed ventilators to hospitals experiencing a surge of patients with COVID-19. He added that HCA Healthcare would provide as many as 1,000 ventilators to the cause.

Sam Hazen, HCA Healthcare’s chief executive officer, speaks during a White House briefing on April 14.

6. April 6: HCA Healthcare teams up with Google Cloud and SADA on data portal to help communities respond to COVID-19

HCA Healthcare continued to use our scale to fight COVID-19 when we launched a data portal with Google Cloud and SADA. The National Response Portal was intended to promote data-sharing around the COVID-19 pandemic and how the new virus was spreading in an effort to help hospitals and communities prepare and respond. As a learning health system with an immense scale, we provided data from our 185 hospitals and invited approximately 4,000 hospitals across the country to join and share data on the platform.

5. April 15: HCA Healthcare is using telehealth to fight COVID-19 and reduce provider and patient exposure in hospitals and clinics

Speaking of technology, we expanded our strong foundation in telehealth to adapt to the rapidly evolving challenges of providing healthcare during a pandemic. HCA Healthcare’s vice president of telehealth Christopher Northam and assistant vice president of telehealth Gwen McCoy shared how the organization enhanced its telehealth capabilities to care for all patients during COVID-19 safely and efficiently.

(Plano, Texas)  Texas Back Institute’s Dr. Sheena Bhuva uses telehealth capabilities

4. March 31:  HCA Healthcare discusses innovative efforts to expand ICU capacity

Remember when we first learned about “flattening the curve” in March? Well, while the public stayed home to do just that, HCA Healthcare worked to increase healthcare system capacity to allow for a higher curve. Dr. Michael Schlosser, National Group chief medical officer and vice president of clinical excellence and surgical services, discussed innovative modeling aimed at increasing intensive care unit (ICU) capacity. This helped our hospitals identify rooms that could be converted into additional ICU capacity — if and when that was needed.

3. April 28: Braving the front lines: meet HCA Healthcare’s respiratory therapists

Respiratory therapists have played a vital role in the fight against COVID-19. RTs are specialized in their knowledge of cardiopulmonary assessment, evaluation, treatment, management and care of patients with respiratory problems. We appreciate all of HCA Healthcare’s amazing respiratory therapists and their hard work and commitment to providing care like no other. We celebrated these healthcare heroes in what became our third most read article this year.

Respiratory therapists at Redmond Regional Medical Center in Rome, Georgia.

2. July 1: IBM Watson Health names 17 HCA Healthcare hospitals to top 100 list, Continental Division earns top health system spot

Seventeen HCA Healthcare hospitals earned spots on Fortune/IBM Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals list for 2020. Additionally, HCA Healthcare’s Continental Division was named the top large health system as part of the 15 Top Health Systems list. President of clinical operations and chief medical officer Dr. Jonathan Perlin and senior vice president and chief nurse executive Dr. Jane Englebright celebrate the commitment of our clinicians, caregivers and colleagues that earned us this recognition.

1. April 1: COVID-19: five nursing stories from the front lines

Our most read article of 2020 is a celebration of HCA Healthcare nurses with five stories from the front lines. These nurses from sites of care across the country talk about the inspiring work they are doing to support each other, our patients and our communities during this critical time. We are so grateful for HCA Healthcare nurses and all of our colleagues who have gone above and beyond to care like family.

Amber Craig (pictured right), emergency services manager at West Valley Medical Center

Plus, the top three social media stories you reacted to most in 2020 are:

1. March 31: Pandemic Pay announcement

In March, certain HCA Healthcare facilities were temporarily closed to slow the spread of the virus. CEO Sam Hazen announced several initiatives that would financially support HCA Healthcare colleagues who were affected by the closings. Where possible, these colleagues were redeployed to other sites, and a Pandemic Pay program was established to assist the colleagues who could not be redeployed. These colleagues were eligible for 70% of their base pay. Colleagues who were still able to work but who fell ill or needed to quarantine were still paid their full base pay. Senior leadership members took a 30% pay cut to support the programs, including Sam Hazen who also donated 100% of his pay in April and May to the HCA Healthcare Hope Fund, a 501(c)(3) charity benefiting HCA Healthcare colleagues experiencing financial hardship.

2. April 2: Tulane Medical Center nurse Baylie Mader

Tulane Medical Center ICU nurse Baylie Mader shared her feelings and a photo of marks left on her face from wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout her shift. Baylie said she felt blessed and had a “good week at work” despite it all. Baylie’s post was shared by many and was even honored at the New York Stock Exchange closing bell in April as a symbol of gratitude for all essential workers.

1. March 20: TriStar Summit Medical Center prayer huddle

We shared this photo of our TriStar Summit Medical Center colleagues on our social media channels just as things began to shut down in March. It was a moment of pause, hope and surrender that many of you related to as we all watched the pandemic unfold and cheered on our frontline workers from afar.

Please note: The photo in this post was taken before universal masking policies were established.

Nashville-based HCA Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare services, comprising 185 hospitals and approximately 2,000 sites of care, including surgery centers, freestanding ERs, urgent care centers, and physician clinics, in 21 states and the United Kingdom.