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#HAVhope: A National Day of Awareness for Hospitals Against Violence

On June 9th, Hospitals Against Violence Hope (#HAVhope) Friday, in a Day of Awareness, will focus national attention on ending all forms of violence. This is an outgrowth of project initiated by the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees to give voice to hospital efforts that combat violence in their communities and their facilities. Violence has become a major public health and safety issue for nearly everyone in our country. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.3 million people are treated in U.S. emergency departments each year for violent injuries and violence costs more than $85 billion annually in medical expenses and lost productivity. What is constant, however, is the commitment of hospitals in helping their employees, patients, and communities address violence in whatever form it may take.

At Midland Memorial Hospital (MMH), we have done much to help in preventing violence in the workplace such as:

  • Embracing a Culture of Ownership and creating a common language that does not tolerate acts of toxic emotional behaviors like incivility, disrespect, bullying.
  • Established the Midland County Hospital District (MCHD) Police Department to be readily available and assist to mitigate all acts of violence on our campuses.
  • MMH Leadership and the MCHD Police Officers have educated most staff to be situationally aware of their environment and trained in techniques to protect themselves and others.
  • MMH Leadership regularly engages our people in drills such as bomb threats and active shooter on campus to better understand how to manage under these horrific circumstances, if they ever do occur. Oftentimes these drills includes our friends from the Midland Police Department, Midland County Sheriff’s Department, Midland Fire Department and other emergency response organizations.
  • Our people including nurses, medical providers, and others are regularly involved with educating our community about gun and knife violence, sexual assaults, and how best to prevent these from occurring.

While much has been done at MMH to heighten the awareness of violence and prevention of this violence, more could be done in collaboration with our community partners to address community violence and help in creating the healthiest community in Texas. Here are some suggestions for how you can raise awareness and support #HAVhope Day on Friday, June 9th:

  • Share a photo on June 9 of yourself holding hands with others in our community or workplace committed to combating violence. This collection of photos will provide a visual to demonstrate that we stand together to combat all acts of violence.
  • Use #HAVhope on social media (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to highlight your commitment to combating violence in Midland and your workplace.

Let’s all be more kind, compassionate, empathetic to others needs … smile more. Slow down and smell the roses, if you will. We have a great community in Midland. Let’s make it even greater by standing together to make it more safe.

This post was written by Dr. Bob Dent, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Midland Health.

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