Medical community reacts to Northside Medical Midtown shooting

In the wake of the May 3 shooting at Northside Medical Midtown in Atlanta that killed one CDC employee and seriously injured four other people, members of the medical community have responded to the tragedy.

The incident took place inside the medical center where a patient opened fire in the waiting room following a medical appointment, according to police. 

The event taking place within the walls of a healthcare facility can be especially traumatizing both for the staff who worked there in any capacity and also those at the hospital where victims were transported for treatment, Robert Jansen, MD, Grady Health System's chief medical officer said during a May 4 press conference. 

"Unfortunately this is almost a daily occurrence here. We have multiple shooting victims come in every day," Dr. Jansen said. "But when they come in like this, particularly because it was in a healthcare setting, it resonates more and creates angst, as you would imagine."

The event resonated beyond the two hospitals into the larger healthcare community throughout the nation, garnering responses from several medical associations. 

The Georgia Nurses Association stated May 4 that it was "deeply saddened and shocked by the tragedy," and pointed out that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Safer Hospitals Act into law two days prior to the attack, which increased penalties for those who engage in violence toward healthcare workers. 

"No one should experience such fear or the threat of violence anywhere, especially not in a place meant for receiving care, relief, healing, and comfort," the statement reads. 

The American Hospital Association offered its support and condolences via Twitter stating: "We are deeply saddened by the shooting at Northside Medical Midtown facility, part of @NorthsideHosp. We are grieving with the Northside community and the city of Atlanta and are grateful to the first responders and the team at Grady who are caring for the victims. We are reminded once again of the sacrifices of our healthcare workers. No one should ever have to fear for their lives at work or when receiving care."

In its statement following the tragedy, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists called for legislation to address violent acts toward pharmacists, technicians and healthcare workers and noted that it will "continue to support the profession and work with our healthcare colleagues to counter the societal and public health impact of violence." 

As of the morning of May 5, the four surviving victims of the shooting showed signs of improving, including one who was about to be discharged from the hospital, Dr. Jansen said during a morning press conference update reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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