Open Accessibility Menu

Campbell County Health Joins National #HAVhope Friday to Combat Violence in Healthcare

  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Norberto Orellana
Campbell County Health Joins National #HAVhope Friday to Combat Violence in Healthcare

GILLETTE, Wyo. - June 7, 2024 - Today, Campbell County Health (CCH) joins healthcare organizations nationwide in marking the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) eighth annual Hospitals Against Violence #HAVhope Friday. This national awareness day highlights the efforts of America's hospitals and health systems to prevent violence and promote safety in healthcare environments.

This year, the AHA is spotlighting the Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2584/S. 2768), a bipartisan bill to provide federal protections for healthcare workers. Modeled after protections for aircraft and airport employees, the SAVE Act would impose fines and imprisonment for those who physically attack healthcare workers or interfere with their duties. As hospitals across the country advocate for such protections, many like CCH are also taking proactive steps to address violence in healthcare with our own resources and innovative strategies.

Understanding the Scope of Violence in Healthcare

Workplace violence in healthcare is a critical and pervasive issue, encompassing verbal threats, physical threats, and physical violence. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare workers are victims of 73% of all workplace injuries and illnesses due to violence. Furthermore, a recent study in the Annals of Medicine & Surgery highlighted that violence negatively impacts healthcare delivery, quality, and employee engagement. The study highlights the urgent need to address these issues to ensure the safety of healthcare workers and the quality of care provided to patients.

“The perception in healthcare is that getting scratched, slapped, punched, or kicked is just another day on the job, and we really need to change that culture,” said CCH Security Manager Adam Boothe. Boothe emphasized that healthcare violence is a national problem. Notably, Wyoming is one of a handful of states lacking specific legal protections for healthcare workers. The absence of state-specific protections places Wyoming’s healthcare workers at greater risk, highlighting the critical need for interventions at the hospital level and solutions at both the state and federal levels.

National Nurses United (2024) reported that 81.6% of nurses experienced workplace violence in the past year. This alarming statistic encapsulates the widespread nature of the problem and the pressing need for comprehensive measures to protect healthcare workers across all states and healthcare settings.

CCH’s Commitment to Safety and Support

At CCH, our employees' and patients' safety and well-being are a top priority. Our proactive measures include an internal system for reporting workplace incidents, with all reports thoroughly investigated. Employees can report incidents anonymously, ensuring they feel secure speaking up without fear of retaliation. This system not only helps address immediate threats but also identifies patterns that could prevent future incidents.

CCH has a security team that aims to provide 24/7 coverage to the healthcare system. The security team is an integral part of the organization, and staff view them as an invaluable resource. From responding to violent incidents to walking employees to their vehicles, CCH has invested in a security team to ensure our employees and patients can focus on care and healing. CCH also employs greeters at its main entrance. Our greeters are often the first point of contact for patients and their families. While the greeters play a significant role in welcoming patients to the facility, they also play a role in ensuring the safety and security of the campus.

“We monitor our cameras so we can assist patients with wheelchairs and getting out of their cars,” said CCH Greeter Kelvin Glaser. “Sometimes we see something that doesn’t look quite right, and we'll keep an eye on the situation. Other times, we de-escalate tense situations.” Our greeters play a crucial role in setting the tone for patient experiences and handling situations with compassion and professionalism.

Glaser explained that people arrive at CCH with a wide range of emotions. "Some are sad, some are angry, and some are having their worst days. De-escalating is a huge part of what I do, and sometimes consoling as well. I like doing it; I like taking care of people," Glaser shared. CCH takes a hands-on approach to patient care and security that ensures patients and their families feel supported from the moment they enter the facility.

The CCH security team conducts hazard vulnerability assessments and tracks data to continuously improve our safety protocols. When 911 is called within our facilities, our security team is immediately notified so that they can respond. This immediate response capability is critical in ensuring the safety of everyone on our premises.

Advocating for Broader Protections

CCH stands in solidarity with the AHA in advocating for the SAVE Act, which aims to extend federal protections to healthcare workers. This legislation would provide crucial safeguards, including penalties for physical attacks on healthcare workers. By supporting this bill, CCH and other healthcare organizations hope to create a safer working environment that allows healthcare professionals to focus on providing high-quality care without the added stress and fear of potential violence.

“Healthcare safety isn’t just about employees, but also about patients,” Boothe added. “We advocate for patients as well.” Ensuring patient safety involves creating a secure environment where patients can receive the care they need without encountering violent situations.

The Broader Impact of Healthcare Violence

Violence in healthcare settings has far-reaching implications beyond immediate physical harm. It affects healthcare workers' mental health and job satisfaction, leading to burnout and turnover. These effects, in turn, impact patient care, as consistent staff changes disrupt the continuity of care and diminish the overall patient experience. By addressing workplace violence, healthcare organizations like CCH are improving employee retention and the quality of patient care.

Healthcare violence is not confined to the walls of hospitals. It also occurs on hospital grounds and in the field, where EMS personnel frequently encounter violent situations. This broader issue requires comprehensive strategies beyond CCH to include community-wide efforts and support for all healthcare workers.

CCH’s Vision for a Safer Future

CCH is dedicated to creating a secure and supportive environment for our staff and patients. We are committed to investing in resources, implementing safety initiatives, and advocating at all levels for the protection of our community's life savers. Our vision of being the first choice for healthcare and wellness in Wyoming means striving for a safer future through continuous improvement of safety measures, education and training for staff, and active advocacy efforts.

By joining the AHA’s #HAVhope Friday and supporting the SAVE Act, CCH affirms its commitment to combating healthcare violence. Protecting those who dedicate their lives to caring for others is not just a healthcare issue; it is our duty, obligation, and responsibility.

About Campbell County Health (CCH): An affiliate of UCHealth, CCH includes Campbell County Memorial Hospital, an acute care community hospital in Gillette Wyoming; Campbell County Medical Group with nearly 20 clinics; The Legacy Living & Rehabilitation Center long-term care center and the Powder River Surgery Center. With around 80 providers, 1,200 total staff and over 20 specialties, CCH is committed to serving our community by providing a lifetime of care with dedication, skill and compassion.


  • Category: News Room