Healthcare Risk Management magazine recently featured Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder and the ongoing efforts by the health system to reduce violence against healthcare workers.

In response, Scripps established a dedicated task force, collaborating closely with local law enforcement agencies to devise strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of healthcare workers.

The task force convened for the first time in June, providing a platform for healthcare professionals to share their harrowing encounters with workplace violence. Interest in this initiative rapidly gained momentum, and it now encompasses leaders from all health systems and law enforcement bodies within the San Diego region. Chris Van Gorder, a former police officer and currently the CEO of Scripps Health in San Diego, spearheaded these efforts.

Startling statistics from the Scripps health system underscored the gravity of the situation, revealing a disheartening 28% increase in violence against healthcare employees over the past year. Van Gorder voiced his frustration with the relentless onslaught of incidents, emphasizing the need to wrest control over this issue. He expressed, "We've attempted to grapple with this problem as a healthcare industry and a hospital industry. However, it has become evident that this is a concern that transcends our walls; it's a matter of community significance. It's time for the community to share in the responsibility of finding a solution."

Drawing on his 20-year tenure with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Van Gorder reached out to local law enforcement leaders to enlist their support on the task force. A retired San Diego County sheriff, who also possessed a background as a former FBI agent, eagerly joined the endeavor.

Discussing his outreach, Van Gorder said, "I engaged in a conversation with the former sheriff about the pressing issue we were facing. He recommended that I approach the chiefs of police and the sheriffs. There's a local association comprised of police chiefs and sheriffs, and all the leaders of law enforcement agencies in our community are part of it." He continued, "I sought permission to present our case and ideas at one of their meetings. They graciously allotted me 15 minutes on their agenda to lay out the statistics and propose a collaborative path forward."

Read the full Healthcare Risk Management article Here.