I work with an amazing team across Tampa General Hospital, but as today kicks off “Nurses Week,” I wanted to celebrate all the invaluable contributions that our nurses make to TGH, their patients, and colleagues. So I sat down with our COO, Kelly Cullen, who is a nurse herself, and we put pen to paper to write a heartfelt thank you to the incredible nurses who we work and collaborate with every day.


A Letter to Our Nurses,

As we sit down to draft this letter, we can’t help but think of our team of amazing men and women—from environmental services to respiratory therapy to pharmacy to dietary services and throughout the organization—who make invaluable contributions to TGH every day. We are so grateful to our entire team for your service and your commitment.

As we officially kick-off “Nurses Week,” we wanted to take a moment and let our incredible team of nurses know how much you mean to us. You are our heroes, our colleagues, and our collaborators. You have our endless gratitude, respect, and appreciation.

Each day we bear witness to your boundless capacity for empathy and compassion.  We see the relief you provide in moments of pain and the reassurance you offer when the stress seems insurmountable. You’re the first one in the room and the last one to leave.

You are professional, smart, inquisitive, and incredibly knowledgeable. You are confident in your work and abilities. You’re willing to share all that you know and ask for help when you don’t. You’re always able to see the big picture without forgetting the smallest detail. Learning from you, and collaborating with you, has made us better leaders and colleagues. 

In the shadow of the last two months, you have reminded us of all the special and infinite gifts you possess. You have traversed rough, often scary, and complicated waters with a grace and a steadiness that has been truly remarkable to behold. You have cared for the sickest of patients under the most difficult of circumstances—always rising to meet the challenge and facing each day and moment with compassion and ingenuity.

You have become family to those in your care and become a lifeline to their families. You have served as that calm and reassuring voice on the other end of the phone line—offering support and comfort, bridging the vast and unknowable distance between families and their loved ones in your care. 

At the same time, you have comforted colleagues—giving that extra hug, high five, or moments of your time. At times when we have been exhausted and apprehensive, we have gained strength for you. You have continued to remind us of what it means to work selflessly for others, to care, and commit to those in need and to keep going.

During this challenging time, no aspect of your performance has surprised us. You have impressed and astounded us for years. We knew that the wealth of intelligence, empathy, and compassion you possess would help us get through any challenge we faced. We are just incredibly grateful to have you on the front lines of this fight.

You make us proud today and every day. There are not enough days or weeks or months to celebrate all that you are and all that you give, but we hope that in the coming days, you can feel a bit of the admiration and gratitude we have for you.

Like the patients you treat, the families you comfort, the colleagues you support, we too, are forever grateful for you.

With all our respect and fondness……John Couris and Kelly Cullen

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