Tennessee hospitals ramp up security after fatal shooting

Hospitals are adopting additional security measures after the shooting and death of an orthopedic surgeon at Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics in Collierville, Tenn., the Commercial Appeal reported July 16. 

Police allege that Larry Pickens, 29, of Memphis, Tenn., shot and killed Benjamin Mauck, MD, in an exam room July 11. Mr. Pickens was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Campbell Clinic said in a social media post July 16 that the Collierville location remains closed this week as staff and colleagues continue to mourn the loss of Dr. Mauck. On July 13, the clinic posted that its patients and staff should expect "increased security presence" and that it asked law enforcement to increase patrols at its locations.

Many other hospitals and healthcare institutions in the Memphis area told the Commercial Appeal they had been looking to improve their security even prior to the shooting and will continue to do so.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare shared a statement with the newspaper, saying the health system offered employees additional workplace violence and active shooter training and installed license plate reader cameras at its campuses. The system also shared plans to limit entry points and increase the presence of trained security personnel at facilities.

Regional One Health will continue to maintain a presence of "skilled security officers" on location as well as regular training for employees, the provider said, according to the Commercial Appeal

"We actually have situational awareness and de-escalation training scheduled for interested staff beginning next month," spokesperson Angie Golding told the newspaper. "We had these sessions scheduled prior to the tragic events of this week, but this is one example of our added security efforts."

Saint Francis Healthcare shared the following statement with the Commercial Appeal: "Our hearts are with the family of Dr. Benjamin Mauck during this difficult time. Prior to this incident, we made a significant investment to enhance our security on our campuses and upgrades will continue to be implemented. Saint Francis Healthcare takes the security and safety of our employees, patients, physicians and visitors very seriously."

Baptist Memorial Hospital-Collierville shared the following statement with Becker's on July 12: "We are saddened by the tragic incident that occurred at Campbell Clinic in Collierville, Tenn., yesterday. While it did not directly involve any of our employees, our hearts go out to Dr. Benjamin Mauck's family, the office staff and others who were nearby. Any violence against a healthcare professional affects all of us in the medical community. 

"We are concerned about the increasing violence that we're experiencing as a nation and the effect that it’s having on us all. As an employer, first responders and caregivers, we are devastated and praying for an end to the violence. We will also be reaching out to other community leaders and organizations to identify helpful solutions to this ongoing issue. As we adjust to the changing reality happening in public spaces, hospitals and clinics, we are increasing our investment in security and working to enhance the safety and security of our facilities in a number of ways, including by conducting regular security patrols, ensuring our parking lots are lighted well, using advanced technology such as Flock Safety License Plate Reader cameras, and collaborating with police departments."

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