New York health system hires 'workplace violence coordinators'

State University of New York Upstate Medical University has tapped two "workplace violence coordinators" amid an increase in violence against healthcare workers. 

The Syracuse, N.Y.-based academic medical center has named Frank Ferrante and Gerald Santoferrara to the new positions on its Risk Management Team. In a Feb. 18 LinkedIn post, Kamrin Kucera, director of risk management at SUNY Upstate University Hospital, wrote that they "are working everyday on initiatives to support staff, optimize patient care, and mitigate risk for the organization."

Scott Jessie, MSN, RN, chief nursing officer at SUNY Upstate Medical University, indicated that the role was created in response to rising dangers in the healthcare profession. 

"[Workplace violence] is at crisis levels in healthcare nationwide," Mr. Jessie wrote in a LinkedIn post. "[Healthcare workers] are 5x more likely to be injured by violence at work than other professions. On average 2 nurses are assaulted every hour across the country."

The system's leadership team chose to be "proactive" by adding the workplace violence coordinators and a staff wellness social worker, per Mr. Jessie. SUNY Upstate Medical University has also partnered with the local police department and county district attorney's office to "take a strong stance against violence in healthcare."

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