As we continue to fight COVID-19, it has been so encouraging to see the outpouring of support from our community for Maria Parham Health. We have always striven to be a place where you choose to come for health care, and we take our responsibility as a community leader very seriously. As our neighbors have come together to do everything possible to slow the spread of this vicious virus amid unprecedented challenges, we have never been more proud to be a part of this community. It is more important than ever that we all continue to take the important steps necessary to keep our community as safe and healthy as possible, including staying home as much as we can, practicing social distancing and following sound medical guidance.

Today, I would ask one more thing of our community, including myself: thank a health care hero.

Some moments ask more of us as a society, as a community and as individuals. Moments like those need heroes. From grocery store employees and delivery workers to educators teaching remotely and those keeping our infrastructure and essential services running, this current moment has no shortage of heroes. And that includes our heroes on the frontlines of this crisis — our health care workers.

Our health care workers are not only a cornerstone of our hospital’s mission of Making Communities Healthier, they are integral members of our community. They are moms and dads. Brothers and sisters. Friends and neighbors. And — today especially — they are heroes, fighting on the frontlines to provide compassionate, quality care when it’s needed most.

At Maria Parham Health, we honor all our providers and employees working hard to ensure a safe place of care and a healthier community for all of us. I hope you will join me and add your voice to the chorus of appreciation for our community’s health care heroes by posting your own message of thanks on your favorite social media, with the hashtag #ThankAHealthCareHero. Let’s show our hometown heroes how much we appreciate their incredible and inspiring efforts to keep us safe.

And thank you again for supporting Maria Parham Health and trusting us with your care as we help guide our community through the COVID-19 situation as safely as possible. We will get through this together.

Bert Beard is chief executive officer of Maria Parham Health.