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Advocacy for SAVE Act

Posted 4 months ago by Paola Gonzalez

Advocacy in Action

Physician Associates for Latino Health sends their thoughts and prayers to all those affected by the recent senseless act at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.

We support the initiative of bringing awareness to change that was recently posted by the National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter.

PALH strongly urges you to contact your legislators to enact H.R. 7961 bill or the SAVE Act as law. The Safety from Violence for Healthcare Employees (SAVE) Act (H.R. 7961) provides federal protections for health care workers who experience violence and intimidation in their workplace settings. The SAVE Act would provide protections similar to those in the federal statute that criminalizes the assault and intimidation of aircraft and airport workers.

On October 22, 2022, at 11:00 AM Dallas police responded to reports of an active shooting. The shooting took place in the “mother/baby” unit of the hospital, the health system said.

“The Methodist Health System Family is heartbroken at the loss of two of our beloved team members,” said a statement from the medical system’s executive leadership. “Our entire organization is grieving this unimaginable tragedy.”

Nestor Hernandez, 30, was in the building to attend the birth of his child, authorities said. After accusing his girlfriend of cheating, Hernandez began searching the closet and bathroom for somebody else who may have been in the room, the warrant states. The suspect produced a weapon from his pants and struck his girlfriend multiple times in the head, according to the warrant. Hernandez then sat on a couch and allegedly told his girlfriend that “we are both going to die today” and “whoever comes in this room is going to die with us,” the warrant states. Moments later, a hospital employee entered the room to provide services to the suspect’s girlfriend and the suspect stood up and fatally shot the employee. Another hospital employee and a Methodist Hospital System Police officer were in a hallway and heard the gunshot. The staff member looked inside the room and saw the first victim on the floor, according to the warrant. After entering the room, the second employee was also allegedly shot and killed by Hernandez.

Recent studies reported an increase in physical violence and verbal abuse against healthcare workers over the last two years.

Contact Your Legislators

These experiences impact the individual caregiver, who may suffer from both physical and psychological trauma, and they can also disrupt care when providers fear for their personal safety, are distracted by disruptive patients or family members, or are traumatized from prior violent interactions.

PAs for Latino Health believes healthcare workers and health systems should have the same legal protections.

The SAVE Act would ensure offenders are appropriately punished and continue to provide a safe environment in which we all deliver patient care.

Preferably, contact your state legislator through a direct call or email.

You can look up your state legislators via this Link