2020 Year In Review


Dear Arkansans,

People will look back in one hundred years at the year 2020 and marvel at the virus that caused the world to stand still. The year will be noted not for the advances in healthcare, not for the advances in science, and not for the advances in technology. Rather, 2020 will be remembered for when the airplanes stopped, nations closed their borders, businesses worked from home, churches closed and restaurants, bars and hotels went bankrupt. All because our understanding and treatment of a mutant virus was low.

But, at Arkansas Heart Hospital, we continued. You cannot close a hospital because of a global emergency, and we did not. We had the responsibility of taking care of the sick who were our chronic patients, and we had the responsibility of taking care of those patients with the coronavirus. We met that responsibility. To meet the challenges of the pandemic, we constructed a respiratory intensive care unit that became our COVID-19 unit for patients who were sick with the virus. We also trained and obtained special doctors to take care of these sick patients who were different from all of the other patients we took care of. We embarked on testing each other and our patients for the virus, as well as canceling many of our elective procedures out of concern it would leave sick people with needs unfulfilled. We met those needs head-on and created protective protocols for ourselves and for our patients. These protocols led to virtually none of our employees or patients suffering acquisition of the infection within our walls. Rosie the Riveter was adapted by one of our own to portray our resilience during this time, and we proudly displayed her along with the quote “We Can Do It” on banners on our hospital.

Yes, 2020 will be remembered for masks, goggles, frequent nasal swabs, protective equipment, gowns, gloves, and temp checks of everyone who entered the hospital. However, it should be remembered by those of us, at Arkansas Heart Hospital, as a successful year where we met the needs of our patients both with the virus and with our primary responsibility of cardiovascular disease.

At the same time, the new Arkansas Heart Hospital Encore Medical Center in Bryant was being finished. In it, we invested thousands and thousands of hours preparing for its opening. It’s a beautiful, well-thought-out healthcare facility that we are very proud of and very proud of the fact that we were able to do all of this in the middle of a global plague.

I want to thank all of the healthcare workers – nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, patient care partners, and medical assistants – who gave us so much of their time and effort for filling the needs of our cardiac patients. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

All my best,

Bruce E. Murphy, MD, Ph.D., FACC Chief Executive Officer

View 2020 Year In Review (PDF)