#HAVhope campaign puts important focus on violence prevention

June 9 marks a national day of awareness to help end all forms of violence in our communities and our healthcare centers. The American Hospital Association Board of Trustees—including Carle President and CEO James C. Leonard, MD—launched the Hospitals Against Violence #HAVhope initiative, encouraging communities to become aware and to take action.

“Violence prevention is one of the most significant health needs facing our country, and our communities are not immune,” Dr. Leonard said.

“To help combat this major public health and safety issue, we must keep this important topic part of our community conversation every day for our patients, our visitors and our staff.”

Longstanding community efforts include Carle’s Risk Watch and Playing It Safe programs to teach children safety and prevent violence. Plus, Carle Foundation Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Illinois to have Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) nurses.

“In our Emergency Department, we provide medical help, evidence collection and emotional support to victims,” said sexual assault education coordinator Tegan Stynoski, RN. “There’s peace of mind in having the forensic evidence the police and courts would need.

“We connect people in need with resources, and we strive to help victims with the healing process.”

Training related to violence in the workplace focuses on equipping Carle employees with the information and resources they need to protect themselves, their coworkers and the patients they serve.

In the Adult Medicine department at Champaign on Curtis, Amy Good, CMA, directs patients to exam rooms, gives injections, responds to MyCarle inquiries and generally “keeps things moving.”

She appreciates recent training by Security Director Chuck Plotner and Supervisor Don Ragsdale.

“They shared a lot of great information and input on what to do. If we had an incident like an active shooter, I feel like I could do something,” she said.

“They were down to earth, especially on such a tough topic.”

In her patient-care role, the Pesotum wife and mother thinks about safety continually.

“I watch the news every morning. Bad things happen all over—schools, colleges,” Good said, adding she and colleagues Emily Strater and Kelsey Ingrum have one another’s backs.

“We all need to be alert. We are prepared. We watch out for one another and for our patients.”

Healthcare settings regularly see people on their toughest days, whether they’re seeking treatment or helping care for family and friends.

“We want to make sure our staff is trained and knows what to do. We’re focused on prevention, first and foremost,” Plotner said.

“Of course, it’s not always pleasant subject matter, but we hear from employees that they’re grateful for the knowledge and the information. And we know it’s our job to keep our patients safe.”