FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The President and CEO of Washington Regional Medical System sent out a letter on March 17, acknowledging the two-year anniversary of the medical center’s first admission of a patient with COVID-19.

“While the response of the health care profession to the COVID-19 pandemic has been truly heroic, that response has exacted an incredible personal toll on many of our team members,” said J. Larry Shackelford in the release. “The pandemic has forever changed health care. I have a deep sense of gratitude for those who helped get our nation to this point.”

The letter also recognized that over 11,000 Arkansans have died from the virus. Shackelford also made note of a few other significant statistics:

  • Washington Regional has performed more than 104,000 COVID tests
  • Over 2,200 COVID patients have been admitted to the hospital
  • Nearly 157,000 calls have been made to its COVID hotline
  • More than 42,000 vasccine doses were administered

“As the pandemic enters its third year, there are hopeful signs that the worst may be behind us,” Shackelford said. “And communities are increasingly returning to a more normal footing in hopes of putting the daily concerns about COVID in the rearview mirror.”

“I often say our people are what set Washington Regional apart,” the letter concluded. “And two years into a grueling pandemic, I am more certain of that sentiment than ever.”