WOODSTOCK– To enhance its already strong security program, Centegra Health System recently put into place its own internal security department. Headed by William Riggs as director of Safety and Security, the new 32-officer security force replaced the existing contracted force and brings added dimension to the program.
Along with Riggs, three site-specific supervisors oversee the daily security operations at each of the hospital facilities, including: Kirk Hill, supervisor at Centegra Memorial Medical Center, Fabian Soto, supervisor at Centegra Memorial Medical Center South Street and Mike Gallagher, supervisor at Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center.
“We are very proud of our new program,” Bill Riggs, said. “The security officers chosen to be part of our program have strong backgrounds and experience within military, law enforcement or with previous hospital security programs.” In addition to the prior experience of the security officers, all current and future officers are trained and certified by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety. “This type of training is significant and is not available with outside security contractors,” Riggs said.
According to Joseph Hurshe, Vice President Operations at Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center, who was instrumental in bringing Centegra’s security program in-house, “Centegra felt very strongly about going in the direction of having its own security program because it further shows our commitment to providing the most secure environment possible for our patients, staff, physicians and community.”
“With our officers being Centegra Associates, they have a vested interest in the safety and security of the system,” Riggs said. “They also have a commitment to fulfill the values of Centegra Health System which is to “ËœServe with Genuine Respect, Passionate Caring and a Joyful Spirit.”
Another benefit is that officers can now assist other Associates with some duties or tasks that were not always possible through contractual arrangements.
In addition to the new program, Riggs and his supervisors have also worked with the local police departments to enhance communication and strengthen relationships with local law enforcement.
“It is key for us to keep an open line of communication to the local authorities. We consider them a major partner in the safety and security of our facilities,” Riggs said.