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YNHHS works to create a safe environment for all 

While incidents of workplace violence in healthcare organizations escalate nationwide, Yale New Haven Health is taking steps to create a safe environment for employees, patients and visitors. 

“As an employer of choice, one of our most important goals is to provide a safe work environment for our employees,” said Jodie Boldrighini, vice president, Employee Health, Safety and Wellbeing, YNHHS. “Yale New Haven has a zero tolerance for workplace violence.”

The Workplace Aggression and Violence Prevention Policy (in network only) affirms that YNHHS supports an environment that is safe from threats, acts of violence or aggression and any behaviors intended to intimidate or create fear. Workplace violence includes verbal abuse (foul, offensive, biased or sexual language) and physical abuse (pushing, slapping, punching, spitting and kicking). 

Throughout April, National Workplace Violence Prevention Month, YNHHS is rolling out a Workplace Violence Prevention education campaign to build awareness and offer guidance to employees on identifying, addressing and preventing violence in the workplace. 

Each week this month, the Workplace Violence Prevention Education Committee will distribute Prevent Workplace Violence “tip sheets” covering topics such as situational awareness and self-awareness; communication and de-escalation tactics; the significance of knowing your surroundings; and more.

“Our goal is to increase education and prevention. We want to create a safe environment by empowering employees with tools to keep themselves safe,” said Mark Sevilla, RN, YNHHS advisor on workplace violence and a member of the Workplace Violence Prevention Education Committee. “We also want employees to realize that workplace violence is not an acceptable part of the job.”  

In addition to education and awareness, there are several initiatives under way throughout the health system to address workplace violence. The System Workplace Violence Prevention Committee, with representation from each delivery network, focuses on reducing workplace violence. The committee is also developing work groups to address specific concerns related to violence prevention; management of high-risk patients; peer support teams; education and training; and workplace violence data collection and analysis.

“Employees cited workplace safety as a concern in last year’s Employee Engagement Survey,” said Boldrighini. “We want to ensure employees know that the health system is looking out for their safety and wellbeing. We will continue to develop these and other initiatives aimed at reducing and eliminating any and all incidents of workplace violence at Yale New Haven Health System.”