Vt. bill aims to protect health care workers from violence

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 4:56 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A new Vermont law is aimed at deterring assaults against health care workers at health facilities.

A Senate committee Wednesday heard from health care workers across the state about the dangers of physical and verbal assaults while working inside health care facilities.

The proposed bill would permit law enforcement to directly arrest a person who interferes with health care services rather than just issue a citation.

Marc Sacco, the emergency department manager at Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor gave emotional testimony about an assault that left him in need of multiple surgeries and deaf in one ear. “It changes how I look at every single person. I am struggling every day to go to work, put on a good face. I should have just retired,” he said.

“Will a law bring all the changes that we need? Maybe not, but certainly having it -- folks educated about what the law is -- will be a deterrent,” said Sen. Ginny Lyons, D- Chittenden County.

Senators will hear more testimony Thursday from mental health advocates and law enforcement.