Philadelphia hospital president praises staff response, vows security review in wake of fatal shooting
In a recent interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, Richard Webster, MSN, RN, president of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, discussed the aftermath of a fatal shooting that took place inside the hospital, including how staff members are dealing with the situation and how the hospital is responding. The shooting occurred Oct.
4 on the ninth floor of the hospital and resulted in the death of Anrae James, a 43-year-old certified nursing assistant who was pronounced dead shortly after he was shot. The suspected shooter, 55-year-old nursing assistant Stacey Hayes, allegedly shot and killed Mr.
James before wounding two officers in a shootout with police. Mr. Hayes has been charged with murder in the death of Mr.
James. Since the hospital shooting, the hospital has boosted the number of security guards on duty, offered counseling and time off to workers and offered virtual town halls for staff, who have expressed security concerns, Mr. Webster told the Inquirer.
“We are reviewing every policy as well as every entrance to make sure it is an entrance we should keep open overnight,” he told the newspaper. In the interview, Mr. Webster also recalled staff members’ confusion and sadness over the incident and commended the hospital workers who moved quickly to try to save Mr.
James. Jefferson Health spokesperson John Brand, in a statement emailed to Becker’s on Oct.
5, said, “We are also very proud of the professionalism and dedication of our colleagues, who despite this tragic incident, continued to carry out their duties taking care of their patients and each other.” Mr.
Brand added that a comprehensive review would take place “to ensure best practices in our safety protocols for all Jefferson facilities.”
According to the Inquirer, police said the shooter used a staff key card to enter the ninth floor of the building, though the exact timing in terms of when other employees were alerted to an active shooter and how those alerts were rolled out remain unclear.
Read the full report here.