Cleveland Clinic Hosts First Healthcare Safety Conference

Preparing caregivers for the worst


Healthcare workers are accustomed to maintaining a constant vigilance for safety within the four walls of the care environment; however, changing social dynamics in our communities have increased concerns about outside influences impacting care at these facilities. To address concerns, the Cleveland Clinic Stanley Shalom Zielony Institute for Nursing Excellence, together with Cleveland Clinic’s Protective Services team, will present Cleveland Clinic’s inaugural SHIELD Conference on Tuesday, April 17.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

In this Q&A, Nelita Iuppa, DNP, MS, BSN, NEA-BC, RN-BC, FHIMSS, Associate Chief Nursing Officer of Informatics for Cleveland Clinic health system, offers insight into this highly unique, first-of-its-kind Cleveland Clinic healthcare safety event.

Q: What is the primary goal of the SHIELD Conference?

A: The SHIELD Conference is dedicated to educating frontline caregivers and support staff on social factors that impact safety in healthcare. The conference will address violence in healthcare, disaster preparation, drug epidemics and general security. It will also recognize stress points that clinicians, patients and visitors face every day – providing practical tactics and skills to manage these situations.

Q: What are some of the highlights of this unique event?

A: The SHIELD Conference will feature three prestigious keynote presentations:

  • Healthcare Safety from the Headlines, Lisa Barrett, General Counsel, Cleveland Clinic & Gordon Snow, Chief of Protective Services, Cleveland Clinic
  • Opioid Impact on Northeast Ohio, Thomas P. Gilson, MD, Medical Examiner, Cuyahoga County
  • Interdisciplinary Partnerships: Working Together to Protect and Support Caregivers, Cleveland Clinic Caregiver Panel

Additionally, there will be educational lectures and more than 15 poster presentations that cover topics such as:

  • Mass disaster and casualty emergency event readiness
  • Weapons and contraband in the care environment
  • Active shooter, body camera and Taser training
  • Drug addiction, treatment and diversion in healthcare
  • Physical restraint and ligature risks
  • Domestic and caregiver violence
  • Mental health
  • Human trafficking
  • Cyber-security
  • Safety on Cleveland Clinic campuses and reporting

Attendees will have plenty of dedicated time to network with various healthcare safety experts.

Q: Are there any key takeaways attendees can expect to garner from SHIELD 2018?

A: Absolutely! SHIELD Conference attendees will learn a number of tips and strategies for improving workplace safety as it relates to these unique situations. Some of the most notable takeaways for caregivers who plan to attend will include:

  • How to de-escalate stressful situations
  • Constant vigilance and awareness of potential threats in an environment
  • How to protect themselves and others when violence arises
  • How to take steps to prevent dangerous situations
  • Available resources and support assistance when safety events occur

Q: How did the idea to host such a unique conference come to fruition?


A: Recently, Cleveland Clinic has experienced a noticeable escalation of harmful social factors that are impacting our patients and caregivers. Cleveland Clinic’s executive nursing leadership team discussed the growing concerns of violence and burnout in the workplace. We decided that more dialogue on this topic could prove beneficial and we came up with the idea of hosting an event where caregivers could share experiences and learn tactics and strategies to mitigate risk factors and decrease uncertainty. Our nursing leadership team approached Cleveland Clinic’s highly respected Protective Services colleagues about the possibility of a joint conference, and they immediately connected to the mission. Together we shaped the vision for SHIELD.

Q: Who should attend the 2018 SHIELD Conference?

A: All caregivers are welcome to attend the 2018 SHIELD Conference. If you are a caregiver and changing social dynamics in patient populations impacts your work, please join us! Attendance is free for Cleveland Clinic caregivers and $100 for non-Cleveland Clinic caregivers. For more event details, or to register, visit

Related Articles

Head shot of CNO Meredith Foxx
Celebrating a Year of Nurse Essentials: A Look Back – and New Thoughts – on Hot Topics (Podcast)

Cleveland Clinic’s Executive CNO reflects on the image of nursing, aspirations for nurse leaders and more

Nursing Certification: More than Alphabet Soup (Podcast)

Earning a specialty certification, and the right to use its acronym after your name, signifies expertise and a commitment to patient care

The Value of Nurse Residency Programs (Podcast)

Nurse residents gain the skills – and confidence – to care for complex patients

The Intersection of Nursing and the Law (Podcast)

When potential legal issues arise, it’s best to speak up, ask for help and be transparent

Development Program Provides New Pathways for APRNs

Nurses expand their careers by honing leadership and research skills

Loud and Clear: Speaking Up for Patient Safety (Podcast)

As advocates for their patients, nurses need to be empowered to raise concerns about potential issues