This past week I was in Miami, at the 4th International Conference on Violence in the Health Care Sector. The conference is facilitated by Nico Oud of The Oud Consultancy in the Netherlands, and has been held in Amsterdam, Prague, Vancouver, and now Miami. The Mandt System® was one of the primary sponsors of the conference, and we also had our new booth at the conference, where Kevin Mandt was able to interact with literally hundreds of people who came by the booth, many of whom stayed to look at our new materials, talk with Kevin and others, and learn more about The Mandt System®. In addition, Simon Kemp, Aaryce Hayes, Tim Geels and I presented at the conference, and had the opportunity to interact with people from 37 countries, in which workplace violence is a growing issue in the health care sector.

There were over 100 different sessions to choose from, 10 of them by Mandt System, Inc. staff! One of the many reasons The Mandt System® supports this conference is that the proceedings are open to anyone who wants to read them. At this link,, you can download the proceedings from the 2012 conference which was held in Vancouver. The 2014 proceedings are not yet available on-line, but will be in the near future. There are over 400 pages of new information, new research, and new ideas that can help all of us improve the work we do so we can increase safety for all people.

The title of the conference was “Towards Safety, Security, and Wellbeing for All.” The emphasis of many of the presentations was on the need for safety to be experienced by all people, not just staff and not just individuals served. All people have an equal right to safety, and the information presented at the various workshops had different approaches to safety, used different language to describe safety, and provided participants with a literal mosaic of information that we can all use to improve safety in our organizations and achieve wellbeing for all people.

Mike Privitera, a psychiatrist with the University of Rochester, presented a session along with Vaughan Bowie and myself on factors in burnout, and shared a program developed at the University of Rochester Medical Center called iCARE. The acronym stands for:

It is a simple idea, and is similar to the activity done in chapter 1 of The Mandt System® training where participants identify five core values that they want to see more fully present, more fully visible, within their organizations. What you believe leads to how you behave, we tell participants. Believing and then acting on the values of integrity, compassion, accountability, respect and excellence have no “down side” that I can see.

The difficulty, as Mike explained it, was that there was an elephant in the room, so to speak, whenever people talked about iCARE. That elephant was the relational history present in some departments and between some people, the elephant was the horizontal violence that is present to one degree or another in almost all organizations. What we focus on in Mandt is what one person said is missing in their own program to address workplace violence, and that is an emphasis on building healthy relationships between the staff, and starting by looking at yourself.

Those of us who attended will be sharing information in our workshops, emails and occasional blogs over the next few months. When the 2014 proceedings are available online, download them. Read the 2012 material when you have time, understanding that there are over 400 pages of information in each of the proceedings! The information presented will provide you with ideas to provide safety, security, and wellbeing for all the people you serve, and the all the people who do the serving.

Bob Bowen – Senior Vice President