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March 25, 2022

Around the nation: Threatening a health care worker is now a felony in Wisconsin

Daily Briefing

    Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed a bill that makes threatening health care workers or their family members a felony, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Missouri, New Mexico, and Wisconsin.

    • Missouri: Bothwell Regional Health Center on Monday appointed Michele Laas as its CNO. Laas, who currently serves as the director of clinic nursing at the hospital, has over 25 years of nursing and leadership experience. "Michele has a demonstrated history of building relationships, driving positive clinical outcomes and elevating the role of nursing," said Lori Wightman, CEO of Bothwell Regional Health Center. "She is a nurse's nurse and believes strongly in quality, processes and lifelong education." (Gleeson, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/23)
    • New Mexico: McKinley Christian Health Care Services on Wednesday appointed Robert Whitaker as CEO, effective April 15. Whitaker, who most recently served as CEO of Southwest Medical Center in Kansas, will be the hospital's first permanent CEO since September 2020. He succeeds Don Smithburg, an SVP at Community Hospital Corp. (CHC), the company that manages Rehoboth McKinley, who has been serving as the hospital's interim CEO. According to the hospital, since CHC took over its management, there has been a marked improvement in patient satisfaction scores. (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/23)
    • Wisconsin: Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Wednesday signed a bill that makes threatening a health care worker or their family members in response to anything that occurs in a health care facility a felony punishable by up to six years in prison. Legislators wrote the measure after hearing various stories from health care providers about patients threatening health care workers. Under current state laws, it is a felony to commit battery against a nurse, an emergency medical care provider, or any worker in an ED. Evers said in a statement that the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of health care workers, and that they deserve to be safe. (AP/Modern Healthcare, 3/23)

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