Providence Health Care is launching the first K9 security program in a Washington hospital. The program is part of an ongoing workplace violence protection effort by the health system. K9 programs have been shown to be effective deterrents of workplace violence, and Providence Health Care aims to use the program to prioritize the safety of its patients, visitors and staff.
The program begins this month with one dog and handler for the Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center & Children’s Hospital campus. A German Shepard named Sarge has been chosen for the position. Sarge has successfully completed extensive training programs in both general security and contraband detection. His handler, Pat McKenna, will oversee the K9 program. McKenna has more than 25 years of law enforcement experience, including health care security.
“The safety of our patients, visitors and caregivers is paramount, and this program is an important component of our commitment to providing a safe environment and reducing incidents of violence on our campuses,” Chief Operating Officer of Providence Health Care Peg Currie said.
The K9 security program is expected to grow with the addition of a second dog and handler later in the year.