THA, Texas Hospitals to Honor Sacrifices of Health Care Heroes on First COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day


AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 29, 2024) – This Monday, the Texas Hospital Association and hospitals across the state will observe the first of many important annual reminders about what the state’s patients and frontline workers endured during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Carrie Williams
Chief Communications Officer
[email protected]

Beginning this year, every March 4 in Texas will be recognized as COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day. Since the first case of the coronavirus in Texas was announced on the same date in 2020, nearly 100,000 Texans have lost their lives to COVID-19. The day of recognition was passed into law with strong THA support as part of 2023 legislation by state Rep. Bobby Guerra (D-Mission). It will honor those lost, along with “health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers who kept working during the COVID-19 pandemic so the public could stay safe.”

THA President/CEO John Hawkins says the day of remembrance is essential as the pandemic’s worst days increasingly fade to memory. To celebrate this year’s inaugural Heroes and Memorial Day, Hawkins will join Rep. Guerra and state Sen. Morgan LaMantia (D-South Padre Island) on Monday at a commemorative event held by DHR Health at Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. and will include a video tribute, remarks by both Guerra and LaMantia and a keynote address from Hawkins.

From the first announced case of COVID in Texas on March 4, 2020, through Oct. 2022, Texas hospitals treated more than 500,000 COVID-19 patients. Texas hospitals played a critical role in the vaccine rollout as well, administering more than 7.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Oct. 2022, 16% of all doses delivered in the Lone Star State.

“Our hospitals and health care heroes endured a public health crisis unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes, and it’s incumbent upon us to never forget what they did – and what they put on the line – to protect and save Texans,” Hawkins said. “The days of facility bed capacities stretched to the breaking point, ventilator shortages, and the uncertainty of a deadly new virus were dark times for our hospitals and for Texas as a whole. But they were also a time when we saw the best of Texas hospitals, when our health care workers went above and beyond to serve their communities and their state. COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day ensures we recognize – and keep top of mind – the heroics and sacrifice that characterized that somber time.”

Meanwhile, THA has encouraged hospitals and hospital systems to create their own custom ways to commemorate and celebrate COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day, tailored to their hospitals and the surrounding communities.

“Our hope is that COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day is on everyone’s mind not only on March 4, 2024, but each and every year to follow,” Hawkins added. “It’s not only a recognition of what our state went through during this pandemic. It also serves as a consistent reminder of what’s required to combat any pandemic or public health crisis we may encounter in the future, the toll those events take on us, and how health care workers across Texas stand ready to provide courageous, model service to their communities even in the most trying of times.”


Resources for News Media

THA Contact: Carrie Williams

THA’s COVID-19 Heroes and Memorial Day webpage:

About the Texas Hospital Association
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents more than 85% of the state’s acute-care hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 400,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at or follow THA on Twitter at