On April 11 Dr. Eric Goralnick, NPLI faculty member and medical director of emergency preparedness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, along with Dr. Leonard Marcus, NPLI founding co-director, led a panel discussion as part of the first national symposium on response to an active shooter in a hospital or health care setting. The symposium was hosted by Johns Hopkins public health and emergency preparedness experts:
Symposium organizers note that in recent years, law enforcement experts have recommended that students, office workers or others confronted with an “active shooter” — an armed person on the move and firing — should decide on their own whether to run, hide or fight, depending on their individual circumstances.
But those choices don’t address the many complex responsibilities that hospital-based nurses, physicians and other health care providers have when they are caring for vulnerable patients, including the elderly, children, the very ill or incapacitated, notes Gabor D. Kelen, M.D., the director of the Johns Hopkins Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), one of the centers hosting the all-day symposium.
Goralnick commented that “Twenty stakeholders representing clinicians, emergency management, law enforcement, security, communications and others discussed, deliberated and came to a consensus on critical functions a hospital need to employ in the response to an active shooter. These recommendations will be helpful for healthcare leaders as we prepare for these more frequent, high impact events.”
The NPLI is a joint program of the Harvard School of Public Health and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.