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Five more hospitals join Respect and Heal campaign

Five more Central New York hospitals and health systems have joined the Respect and Heal campaign aimed at ensuring the safe and respectful treatment of health care workers.

Carthage Area Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Oneida Health, Samaritan Medical Center and UHS System brings the total number of participants in the campaign to 12.

“Samaritan Caregivers deserve a safe and courteous workplace so they can care for our patients and residents,” said President and CEO of Samaritan Medical Center Thomas H. Carman. “The uptick in workplace violence from patients and visitors at Samaritan towards our caregivers is concerning. Being part of the Respect and Heal campaign is showing a united front that local healthcare will not tolerate violent, disrespectful, and disruptive behavior. Together, we can educate our communities and provide clear expectations.”  

President and CEO of United Health Services John M. Carrigg is pleased to offer UHS’s participation in the campaign. “Workplace violence comes at a high cost, but it can be prevented, and we have committed the resources to do so. As we unite with like-minded healthcare institutions across Central New York for stronger standards and expectations, this effort also supports the vast majority of patients and families who are very grateful for our staff and services.  Both our patients and our caregivers expect and deserve an environment where we can deliver great clinical care and focus on healing.”

The campaign, initiated by Upstate University Hospital, comes at a time that finds incidents of violent, disrespectful and disruptive behavior aimed at health care workers is on the rise.  

“We welcome our health care colleagues in this joint effort to ensure the safe and respectful treatment of our health care team members,” said Upstate CEO Robert Corona, DO, MBA. “Together, I’m certain we can make a difference on this important issue.”

Part of the Respect and Health platform addresses federal and state legislation that provides more penalties for individuals who knowingly and intentionally assault or intimidate hospital employees.

Officials say bringing together health care leaders to speak in one voice demonstrates a vigorous commitment to fostering a culture of safety and respect that values the physical and psychological well-being of healthcare workers and patients, officials say.

The CEOs will hold a safety summit next month to share best practices and cover various topics including sociological trends and data; new and available safety technologies; risk assessment tools; de-escalation techniques; and resourcing and building a K-9 security program. Ideas, messaging and tools will also be shared to ensure a unified approach to Respect and Heal regardless of institution size.

When the Respect and Heal campaign was announced in October 202, Upstate’s Corona underscored the major theme of the campaign: “that all staff will be treated with respect, and that we redouble our commitment and implement and strengthen violence prevention strategies to ensure a safe healing environment for our health care workforce and patients.”

The following hospitals and health systems announced their commitment to the campaign in October 2023: Mohawk Valley Health System; Auburn Community Hospital; Crouse Health; Oswego Health; Rome Health; St. Joseph's Health; and Upstate University Hospital.

Caption: Upstate University Hospital CEO Robert Corona, DO, MBA, speaks at a press conference last fall, announcing the creation of the Respect and Heal campaign.