Echols named to serve on the Governor’s Council on Violence

DEMOREST, Ga. – Governor Nathan Deal has named Lynn Echols to serve on the Joint Study Committee on Violence against Health Care Workers.

Echols is a registered nurse and serves as the director of the Emergency Department (ED), PrimeCare and Respiratory Therapy at Habersham Medical Center.

Her background includes experience in critical and emergency care, departmental management and administration.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Brenau University and she and her husband, Brian, have two children and reside in Clarkesville.

According to Georgia Senate Resolution 981, the Joint Study Committee on Violence against Health Care Workers is composed of 11 members including five members appointed by the Governor who are healthcare professionals.  Echols was appointed to serve as the emergency department director from a facility with less than 100 beds.

The Resolution states, “workplace violence is of grave concern to all citizens; over 80 percent of all hospital staff have been assaulted at least once in their career; and emergency department violence is a significant problem and has a direct relationship to experiences of negative stress, decreased work productivity, recovery time off the job, decreased quality of patient care and exacerbation of the shortage of health care professionals.”

“A significant number of perpetrators are individuals utilizing the hospital emergency departments suffering from untreated mental illnesses which are exacerbated by their abuse of drugs, the effect of prescription drugs, their failure to take prescribed medication, or combination of such factors; and a study of the causes and the solutions to the ever increasing violence committed against emergency department personnel needs to be undertaken,” says the Resolution.

This Committee will be reporting its findings and recommendations, with suggestions for proposed legislation by December 2014.