What a difference a year makes. This time last year, we had just one vaccine approved for emergency use for adults with COVID-19 cases reaching all-time highs. The CDC advised us against all travel, and more than half of Americans changed their Thanksgiving plans due to the global pandemic. During a time when it was growing difficult to have hope, we found it within each other. This year, I am thankful for how far we have come, and that we continue to move forward together.

Just this week, Johns Hopkins Medicine administered its one millionth COVID-19 test. We know that catching symptoms or exposure early makes all the difference in stemming the spread of this illness, and we thank you for helping us reach this milestone. Today, one of the three vaccines available in the U.S. has been fully approved by the FDA. Children five and older can now be vaccinated. Our vaccinated workforce returned to work. COVID-19 hospital admissions have stabilized.

I would be remiss to mention these achievements without acknowledging the struggles and sacrifices that came along with them: the loss, the long nights and early mornings, the prolonged gaps in family meetings. Thank you for striving to do your best for each other. Thank you for accepting this increased social responsibility along with all the other changes this past year brought. Thank you for continuing to succeed in the face of adversity—for giving us bright spots to lead us out of the darkness. These successes include having 54 physicians named top doctors by Baltimore magazine (more than double the amount from previous years), three faculty members who were elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and one elected to the National Academy of Medicine, all while maintaining groundbreaking research and patient care.

We’ve come so far in one year. For a long time, this pandemic took away our ability to plan for the near future, but we have since turned a corner. It is time to keep a forward gaze toward the bright future that stands ahead of us. I’d like to wish you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you.

-Mark

Share This Post