WHA-Proposed Amendment Seeks to Protect All Health Care Providers from Violence

September 24, 2019

WHA shared its support in back-to-back State Capitol hearings recently for expanding a legislative proposal enhancing penalties for harm caused to a nurse to include all professionals who are licensed to deliver health care to Wisconsin patients.   

Rose Russell, RN, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, shared her experience with violence directed at nurses and other health care professionals and noted to the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, “In health care we function as a team. As nurses, we may have the most face time with patients, but we all have the potential to face violence.”

WHA Vice President of Workforce and Clinical Practice, Ann Zenk, echoed Rose’s sentiments the next day at the Assembly Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety. “Employers and professionals are partnering to take action to minimize risks to health care staff, and Wisconsin hospitals and health systems are always seeking further deterrents to violence against health care workers,” Zenk noted. “Thank you for taking this step to add one more strategy to this tool kit to keep not just nurses, but the entire patient care workforce safer.” 

For additional information on amended Senate Bill 163, Assembly Bill 175 and other efforts underway to prevent violence against health care professionals, contact Ann Zenk at 608-274-1820.  

Individuals who want to stay up-to-date on this and other important legislation as well as take action on those issues should contact WHA Vice President of Advocacy Kari Hofer or join WHA’s grassroots advocacy program, HEAT.

This story originally appeared in the September 24, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter