In health care, we often talk about what goes on inside the hospital walls. We talk about getting outside those walls and into the community. In or out, the walls are still there. There’s a barrier, a separation in our communication that, in reality, doesn’t exist.

Adapted from the editors’ letter for Walls Down –


In an essential hospital, life flows in and out. It’s fluid. Part of a community’s central grid, the hospital comes alive and reaches out, into schools, shelters, and the streets that run through them. Finding people where they are and bringing them what they need. Maybe it’s food. Maybe it’s medicine. Maybe it’s inspiration or education.

At the same time, the community is drawn in. For lifesaving emergency care. For hands-on clinical training. For innovative, cutting-edge treatment not available elsewhere. For support. There are no walls. There’s only motion, back and forth, in and out, and beyond.

By taking the walls down, we can talk about the people who move fluidly around this space. The moms and dads, sisters, brothers. The babies. The doctors and nurses, students and teachers, the leaders. We can talk about what they do, what they think. We can delight in their joy, dig deep in their despair, and learn from their experience.

New Digital Publication

To dive into this idea, we created an online magazine called Walls Down. For the inaugural issue, Walls Down focuses on one aspect of essential hospitals – the specialized, lifesaving services they provide, such as trauma care, neonatal intensive care, and disaster response.

We have always needed these services. Natural disasters are not new. Collisions, fires, and clashes are inherent in our world. But for many years, there was no training to provide emergency care.

Training, processes, and equipment continue to evolve, and as you’ll see in the stories of Walls Down, essential hospitals remain the leading innovators of this care.

We’ve chosen to focus on lifesaving services because they take us back to the roots of essential hospitals. This aspect of their character touches all of us. Travel into the shadows and back out through the experience of an artist, a mother, a preemie, a neurosurgeon, a first responder.

Essential People, Essential Communities, Essential Hospitals

As the year comes to a close, we invite you to reflect on the experiences of others. To survey the incredible impact essential hospitals have in the community. To admire the dedication and care of clinical staff, administrative staff, patients, and others.

When the walls are down, we can see the emotion and the reality, the human and the technical, the existence and the absence. We can see the flow, in and out, through us all.

We are eager to know what you think of Walls Down! Please comment below or email