New York ACEP, NYSCENA and ANA-NY partnering to support Workplace Violence Prevention

By NYACEP, NYSCENA & ANA-NY | April 16, 2024

Faced with the frightening rise of violence in Emergency Departments, the New York American College of Emergency Physicians (NYACEP), the New York State Council of Emergency Nurses Association (NYSCENA), and the American Nurses Association of New York (ANA-NY) have created the Workplace Violence Prevention Alliance to increase awareness of ED violence, and to collaborate in order to bring about a solution.

“Working alongside NYSCENA and ANA-NY to create this alliance and enlist Emergency Departments from across NYS has been crucial in raising awareness for this issue,” Penelope C. Lema, MD, Secretary/Treasurer for NYACEP states. “Everyone deserves a workplace free of violence, and this Alliance will continue to work to ensure that necessary resources are available to all ED’s and employees across the state. We thank Assemblyperson Cruz and Senator Sepúlveda for their support of these efforts.”

The NYS Assembly and Senate have resolved April as Workplace Violence Prevention Month in the State of New York. Assemblymember Cruz and Senator Sepulveda are champions of this effort in NY and carry S4909A (Sepúlveda)/ A474B (Cruz) which seeks to provide better protection for healthcare workers in hospitals.

“As the proud sponsor of A474B, which takes crucial steps to protect our emergency healthcare workers, I am committed to ensuring we all have a safe working environment. By recognizing April as Workplace Violence Prevention Month, we acknowledge the urgent need to protect our frontline workers. The alarming statistics that nearly half of emergency physicians have experienced physical assaults at work—with 60% of these incidents occurring last year—underscore the critical necessity for the recognition of this month and for the passage of this legislation. No one should fear for their safety while saving lives; it’s time we safeguard those who safeguard us in emergencies.” -NYS Assemblymember Cruz

Violence in Emergency Departments is never acceptable, and places the safety of patients, families, and healthcare providers at high-risk. One recent survey showed that 85% of emergency physicians believe ED violence has risen significantly over the past five years, with two-thirds reporting they had been physically assaulted in the past year. Similar statistics have been reported for ED nurses.

“As a proponent of S4909A, I am deeply committed to the safety of our healthcare workers. The establishment of the Workplace Violence Prevention Alliance marks a significant step towards safeguarding our emergency departments. This collaborative effort is essential, as no healthcare professional should face threats or violence in the line of duty. Our legislation aims to bolster these protections, ensuring a safe working environment for all.” – NYS Senator Sepúlveda

On April 1st, in conjunction with Workplace Violence Prevention month, the Workplace Violence Prevention Alliance launched the campaign No Silence on ED Violence.

Please join us as we raise our voices together, share resources and advocate for safer emergency departments.

For a list of sponsors, participating hospitals, and an informational and educational toolkit, please visit here.