The Carbon County commissioners recognize the importance of quality hospitals and nurses.

That's why, on Thursday, the board adopted two proclamations in honor of National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week. National Hospital Week is held May 8 through May 14 and National Nurses Week will be May 6 through May 12.

The National Hospital Week proclamation states that the theme for the week is "Celebrating Health, Hope, and Healing," in Carbon County.

"This celebration is a reminder that hospitals are foundations of the communities that built them, serving the people of those communities from all walks of life," the proclamation states. "The hospitals of Blue Mountain Health System are proud to be the community hospitals with its mission to provide the highest quality health care to those it serves, enhancing life in a compassionate environment. The hard working people that compose our hospitals and nursing homes deserve regard and appreciation for keeping our community healthy.

"Therefore, the Carbon County Board of Commissioners asks that all residents of Carbon County join in honoring all hospital and nursing home staff of the Blue Mountain Health System, not just during this week, but at every opportunity throughout the year."

The National Nurses Week proclamation states, "The depth and breadth of the nursing profession meets the different and emerging health care needs of the American population in a wide range of settings. A renewed emphasis on primary and preventive health care will require the better utilization of all of our nation's professional nursing resources and professional nursing has been demonstrated to be an indispensable component in the safety and quality of care of hospitalized patients. ... The cost-effective, safe and quality health care services provided by nurses will be an ever more important component of the U.S. health care delivery system in the future.

"Therefore, the Carbon County Board of Commissioners ask that all residents of Carbon County join in honoring all nursing professionals."

The commissioners then gave Randall Smith, county administrator, the honor of presenting Theresa Long, vice president of nursing; Toni Gibson, associate vice president of nursing; and Terry Purcell, vice president of ambulatory and support services, all of Blue Mountain Health System, with the proclamations.

He congratulated the trio for the hospital's success and dedication to the community.

Following the presentation, each representative commented on the proclamations.

Long said, "We are overjoyed by the proclamation. Thank you for recognizing hospital week and also the dedication and commitment of our staff in all of our hospitals. I am extremely proud of the profession I've chosen and I can tell you on behalf of all nurses everywhere, we are very excited for nurses week.

"Our mission will always be to provide the best care and highest quality of care for our patients in our community."

Gibson thanked the board and explained that in honor of hospital and nurses week, the Blue Mountain Health System Lehighton and Palmerton campuses will host various activities.

She added that everyone was very excited that the county adopted the proclamations.

"This means a lot to us," Gibson said. "Thank you."

Purcell echoed Long and Gibson's thoughts, adding that "In addition to our outstanding nursing staff, there are so many therapists, technicians, housekeeping staff and others that mean so much to our patients and our hospital. Our health system is getting stronger every day and it's because of our employees that we are successful."

He thanked the commissioners for their continued support.

The commissioners also thanked Blue Mountain Health System for its commitment to serving this county.

Blue Mountain Health System has two campuses in Carbon County, Palmerton Hospital in Palmerton and Gnaden Huetten Memorial Hospital in Lehighton.

In honor of these two weeks, the hospital will host a variety of events, including and awards presentation and a candle lighting celebration.

On Tuesday, May 10, at 6 p.m., the hospitals will host a celebration at the Josiah White Park in Jim Thorpe. The proclamations from the county will be presented to the employees and a candle lighting ceremony will take place.

Light refreshments will be served.