Rogers Safety leader takes steps to enhance safety and security

02/13/17 07:53:am

From adding resources on second shift at inpatient hospitals to starting safety rounding at all Rogers sites, Rogers Behavioral Health has made employee and patient safety a top priority.

Dave Arndt started in July as director, Safety. As a retired Milwaukee Police Department officer who held a variety of roles over 25 years, David is well-qualified to oversee safety initiatives for Rogers. In addition to earning a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Dave was also part of both internal and community-based mental health programs for the police department.

Dave wants everyone at Rogers to be safety conscious. He reminds all of us, “We can’t overlook or minimize safety. It’s critical that we all think ahead and plan.”

Getting to know Dave Arndt

Dave was drawn to Rogers because of a continued desire to serve the community through the field of mental health. In his spare time, Dave loves to ride motorcycles in the country and cook using natural game. He’s also passionate about spending time with family, especially his grandchildren.

“I believe in spoiling the grandkids and then sending them back to Mom and Dad!” remarks Dave.

Dave’s early work at Rogers includes:

  • Conducting Safety Assessments at each Rogers location
  • Hiring new personnel to conduct safety rounding on all shifts at inpatient sites
  • Adding security services through Securitas on second shift at hospitals and associated residential/outpatient centers
  • Initiating a two-hour safety education course for all employees through Waukesha County Technical College, which is awarding CEUs. (To date approximately 200 have gone through the course in person or by videoconference.) Watch for upcoming class offerings in NetLearning. The name of the class is
  • Developing a comprehensive plan based on his findings.  

2017 plans include setting up more codes at each hospital which will allow employees the chance to keep their skills sharp. Safety rounds will continue with the goal of checking that cabinets are locked, safety precautions are being followed, and the physical environment is safe and free of unattended cords and other items that present risks to patients and employees. Finally, active shooter training is also planned to ensure that people would know what to do in case of such an event.

David’s vision is that his team’s work at Rogers will improve employee safety overall and more specifically, staff injuries will be reduced.  “Our goal is that every Rogers site will be the safest possible place to work and receive care. The feedback we’re receiving so far is very positive, and it’s gratifying to put my skills and experience to work for Rogers,” David shared.

You can send Dave feedback related to safety at david.arndt@rogershospital.org

Key safety tips from the How to Keep Yourself Safe class

  • Be aware of physical and verbal precursors to threatening/violent behavior
  • Be aware of your surroundings and observe where exits are.
  • Watch for unusual or aggressive behavior including intensity in language or non-verbal communication such as clenched fists.
  • Keep space between you and a potentially violent individual.
  • Maintain eye contact, don’t look away
  • In a calm and non-threatening manner, work to understand the person’s concerns.
  • Offer the person some water and a chance to sit down.
  • Avoid going to your car alone at the end of your shift. You can always call for a security escort if co-workers are not available.
  • Commit to not being a victim.