The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” in honour of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Even though 2020 was not really a year where it felt like celebrating anything, we do want to celebrate nurses and specifically the role they play as part of the Angels community.
The power of Community has always been quite difficult to quantify, but we have certainly witnessed its effect first hand this year. So many Stroke teams were thrown into a situation for which there was no guidelines, and no previous best practice experience to refer to.
In the first weeks of the European wave of the pandemic, our consultant in Portugal took the initiative, started a survey together with the Portuguese stroke society, and within a week received feedback from almost all hospitals in the stroke community, which was then followed up by a webinar to discuss the results. Representatives from across the country attended a 3-hour webinar and even though there were no guidelines nor late breaking trials to discuss, the Portuguese community shared ideas, learned from each other, but probably most importantly realised that they are not in this alone. Since then, we managed to provide an online platform for thousands of doctors, nurses and even EMS teams to face this challenge as a community with more than 10,000 people attending local, National or International webinars supported by Angels.
In times of crises, it is often easy to forget to take some time and acknowledge those that have dedicated their time and resources to help others. The Angels Spirit of Excellence award honours those who embody the spirit of the Angels community. We want to acknowledge people who does not only strive for excellence in stroke care in their hospital, but also serves the wider community. We typically take time at the annual ESO Conference to celebrate these individuals and their contribution to our community, and even though we cannot do it in person, we will again do the same at the ESO WSO 2020 virtual conference in November. You can learn more about this year’s nominees and watch out for the announcement event of this year’s winners at our Angels booth.