Video | Sen. Gordon, Advocates Rally Behind Bill that Aims to Stop Growing Violence Against Healthcare Workers

March 13, 2023


Today, State Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock), member of the Public Health Committee, joined fellow lawmakers and healthcare workers at the state Capitol to advocate in support of H.B. 6741, An Act Improving The Safety Of Health Care Providers And Patients, a Senate Republican measure in the effort to stop growing violence against healthcare workers.


He stood alongside fellow legislators Sen. Henri Martin, who offered the legislation, Sen. Heather Somers, Rep. Kathy Kennedy, and Rep. Sarah Keitt, as well as the Connecticut Hospital Association and healthcare professionals from Bristol Health and Middlesex Health to highlight the need for this bipartisan measure.


Senator Gordon, who has 30 years of direct patient care experience as a practicing physician, said, “I have been in and around hospitals for quite some time and this issue is unfortunately not a new one. Being in a hospital as a patient, or loved one of a patient, is a very stressful situation and I can appreciate that. However, there is never an excuse to abuse a healthcare professional in any way. These are the men and women who are there to help, and have gone above and beyond during the years of the pandemic. They deserve to work in a safe environment where they are treated as the professionals that they are.”


Carl Schiessl, Senior Director of Regulatory Advocacy at the Connecticut Hospital Association said, “Connecticut has a dedicated healthcare workforce who are exemplary but exhausted from years of pandemic response and the workforce shortage.  At the same time, they are dealing with increased violence in the workplace.  Hospitals’ continuous efforts to prevent violence and make hospitals safer – as part of wide-ranging efforts to retain and grow the healthcare workforce – would benefit from state support as proposed in H.B. 6741.


“Connecticut hospitals are and have been focused on providing a safe setting for all persons. They established workplace safety committees including management and staff to conduct risk assessments, develop a plan, and meet regularly to implement and modify the plan as required. They are identifying patients at risk for intentional harm to themselves or others and taking steps to mitigate this risk. They are recognizing environmental safety risks for patients and staff and making changes to reduce the occurrence of incidents. They are providing ongoing education and training to staff and volunteers on crisis prevention and de-escalation techniques and approaches to ensuring personal safety. H.B. 6741 includes several measures that would be another positive step toward making hospitals safer for all.”


H.B. 6741, An Act Improving The Safety Of Health Care Providers And Patients includes three components:


  • The development of a marketing campaign by the Department of Public Health (DPH) addressing the issue of mistreatment of healthcare professionals as a serious problem and encouraging civility in healthcare settings


  • The establishment of a hospital security grant program to be administered by the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for securing hospital entrances and public spaces or for other measures to ensure the safety of hospital healthcare providers, hospital staff, and patients


  • Language that would permit, but not require, hospitals to establish policies and procedures related to healthcare provider, staff, and patient safety that govern when a hospital may require a patient receiving nonemergency healthcare to leave the hospital when such patient’s behavior or conduct constitutes a threat to the safety of a healthcare provider, staff member, or other patient


Healthcare workers are uniquely and disproportionately at risk of workplace violence. They accounted for 73 percent of all nonfatal workplace injuries and illness due to violence in 2018.[1]  That percentage has been steadily increasing for at least the past 10 years.[2]The number of workplace violence incidents reported by hospitals to the Department of Public Health (DPH) in 2021 increased by 28% over the number reported in 2020.[3]


April 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics Fact Sheet, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

2 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Memorandum dated November 28, 2022, Ref: QSO-23-04-Hospitals.

3 Each licensed healthcare facility is obligated to report annually to DPH the number and location of workplace violence incidents, per Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-490r.