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Phoebe Nurse Appointed to State Committee

Albany, GA | Sept. 21, 2021  – A new Georgia Senate committee is looking into the problem of violence against health workers in the state, and a Phoebe nurse will be an integral part of that work.  During the last General Assembly session, state lawmakers passed a resolution creating the Senate Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers.  The committee is made up of five senators appointed by the President of the Senate and four members appointed by Gov. Brian Kemp.  One of the governor’s appointees is Kelsey Reed, DNP.

Reed has been part of the Phoebe Family for five years.  She earned her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2017 and currently serves as a director of patient care, overseeing four units at Phoebe’s main hospital campus.  “The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority.  It is an honor to be appointed to this Senate committee, and I look forward to working with other leaders in the state on solutions to combat this alarming and growing threat to healthcare staff,” Dr. Reed said.

According to the resolution creating the committee, “workplace violence is of grave concern to all citizens, and over 80 percent of all hospitals’ staff have been assaulted at least once in their career.”  Dr. Reed says, while incidents of physical violence remain relatively rare, aggressive and threatening behavior from patients and family members has become routine for many frontline caregivers, particularly throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many hospitals have recorded a rise in violence against healthcare workers, and we have seen an increase in reported events at Phoebe over the past 18 months.  We are committed to providing compassionate care to all patients, and we are sympathetic to issues which may lead some patients to act out inappropriately.  Those actions, however, can lead to additional stress and trauma for staff members.  This committee will delve into the statistics and work to determine best practices and potential legislation,” Dr. Reed said.

Phoebe Putney Health System President & CEO Scott Steiner expressed his thanks to state leaders for committing resources to address this important topic.  “We already have a shortage of nurses and other health professionals in Georgia.  We can’t expect to attract the caregivers we need, unless we do everything we can to provide them a safe working environment,” Steiner said.  “Our number one value at Phoebe is ‘safety is fundamental.’  We put safety first every day – certainly, the safety of our patients, but the safety of our hardworking staff is just as important.  I’m proud of Kelsey for taking on this assignment from Gov. Kemp, and I look forward to the recommendations of the committee,” Steiner added.

The study committee’s first meeting will be Thursday, Sept. 23 at the state capitol.  The members of the committee are:

  • Sen. Michelle Au/(D) Johns Creek
  • Sen. Steve Gooch/(R) Dahlonega
  • Sen. Bo Hatchett/(R) Cornelia
  • Sen. Sheila McNeill/(R) Brunswick
  • Sen. Butch Miller/(R) Gainesville
  • Sen. Valencia Seay/(D) Riverdale
  • Mohak Dave, MD/Northeast Georgia Health System
  • Ashley Gresham/Grady Health System
  • Kelsey Reed, DNP/Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
  • Jennifer Speights/View Point Health