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The pandemic pushed the nation’s health care system to the brink. Hospitals even turned patients away during surges. It’s a terrible scenario. And it should be a wake-up call.

Ensuring capacity to care for critically ill patients – whether they are experiencing complications from COVID-19, a stroke or any other emergency – will require more Americans to be more proactive about managing their health and preventing chronic conditions.

Adopting Healthy Behaviors

For most people, making a few changes can both lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and minimize severe complication from COVID-19 infection.

Being a Good Steward

Prevention is not only key to staying well, but it will also help ensure timely access to care for those who need urgent attention from a strained health care system. Supply chain issues have kept some medical products in short supply. And the prolonged pandemic response continues to test an already weary – and shrinking – health care workforce.

The Delta variant is still causing havoc, cases from Omicron are surging and winter flu season is right around the corner. Either virus could ignite yet another wave of serious illness, but making small changes can help protect patients both this season and for years to come.

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