Skip to main content
Find a DoctorGet Care Now
Skip to main content
Search icon magnifying glass







A renewed focus on Workplace Violence Prevention 

New de-escalation training rolling out for employees

In enhanced efforts to promote employee safety, YNHHS has revamped some programs and launched several new initiatives to help employees address and prevent violence in the workplace. 

Most recently YNHHS introduced a new employee learning module entitled Prevention First. The one-hour course is required training for all employees. Designed to help staff identify the stages of a crisis, the course also offers verbal intervention strategies, de-escalation tactics to help, cues for recognizing crisis situations and tips on when to call for additional support. 

The training is in response to concerns expressed through Employee Engagement Surveys as well as the growing increase in assaultive and aggressive behavior across YNHHS and in healthcare facilities throughout the country. 

“While hostile behaviors have often been more common in certain hospital settings such as emergency departments or Behavioral Health units, there has been a significant increase in aggressive behaviors by patients and guests in several hospital areas in recent years,” said Amy Woznyk, director, Employee Health, Safety and Wellbeing. “Yale New Haven is committed to providing the appropriate education and tools to keep everyone as safe as possible and to minimize the risk of being injured.” 

YNHHS also recruited a Workplace Violence Prevention Coordinator, Linda Bergonzi-King, who coordinates processes and programs around managing assaultive and aggressive behavior at YNHHS. She has formed committees at the system level and within each Delivery Network to develop solutions to issues related to the disruptive behavior many employees face each day. Additional steps to help mitigate risks and dangers to employees include new structural processes, enhanced educational materials and response teams. Plus, a new system-wide peer support network will offer emotional support to affected employees.

To learn more about programs in place related to employee safety, visit the Thrive intranet site. The hub for all YNHHS well-being resources, Thrive encompasses well-being benefits designed to enrich employees' lives. 

Employees interested in becoming involved in workplace violence prevention activities should contact Linda Bergonzi-King, workplace violence prevention coordinator, at [email protected].

For Workplace Violence Prevention information and resources, visit the My Safety section on the Thrive site.