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Emory Healthcare puts workplace violence issues front and center in April
Media Contact
Josh Brown
Senior Manager, Media Relations
EHC Hospitals
ATLANTA – In a bid to highlight the impact of violence on health care workers, Emory Healthcare is recognizing April as Workplace Violence Awareness Month. The health care system is focusing on ways to provide meaningful solutions and resources to its employees, as well as creating a culture of safety for its staff and patients.

Health care workers experience one of the highest rates among all industries of intentional injuries at work and in recent years the total number of incidents has been on the rise across the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Emory Healthcare has recognized the toll that workplace violence takes on our care teams, and as system, we are leading the way on providing resources and tools for our workforce to help them navigate these issues as well as create an environment of trust and respect between our staff and patients," says Sharon Pappas, PhD, RN, chief nurse executive for Emory Healthcare.

A big key to the awareness month is communicating the available resources to its workforce of nearly 24,000 employees, with an emphasis on providing numerous visual access points and printed information displayed throughout the 11 hospitals and other facilities across the system.

Among the resources being highlighted this month are expanded training, such as how to report workplace violence, and support for employees who have experienced such violence. The resources also include forums to discuss workplace violence with behavioral health and spiritual health specialists.

"The goal is to raise awareness within Emory Healthcare and in the public about workplace violence and the impact on our health care workers and to promote the tools and resources Emory Healthcare has available to all of our workforce members," says Jessica Sheridan, vice president of operations at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital and Emory lead for its Workplace Violence Prevention Council.

In addition to internal efforts to prevent workplace violence, Emory Healthcare is also supporting legislative efforts to bring stricter penalties for offenders, such as House Bill 46, which was introduced by State Rep. Michelle Au, MD. Au also works as an anesthesiologist at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

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