The new leader of South Dakota’s mental health facility in Yankton comes to the facility well aware of the challenges he faces.

Doctor Troy Jones recently took over as Administrator of the Human Services Center within the last month facing multiple challenges. Employee safety is among the top concerns.

Jones acknowledges the number of total aggression incidents where staff members were involved over the past year. However, he says the figure encompasses a wide range of activity.

“It doesn’t mean that was an assault that led to a broken bone or a concussion of a staff member from a patient. That could mean the patient was spitting, scratching or throwing something at the staff not leading to a major injury. Total aggression incidents as we count them here are lumped into one bucket if you will.”

Going forward, Jones believes that a team effort can lay the foundation for a more pleasant experience.

“I really want to develop a culture of safety here at the organization. We’re open about any safety issues and the prevention thereof. If you don’t feel safe in a psychiatric hospital be it a patient or a staff member you’re not going to get the care that you need. We absolutely want to be the best provider of psychiatric services in the state.”

Jones even suggests that employees could be rewarded for addressing possible safety concerns in the workplace.

Jones was previously head of a similar facility in New Mexico saying he had met his professional goals there and was looking for a new challenge as reason for taking the position.

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