Today, our community was reminded that the threat of violence seems all too commonplace, when someone with a gun created a frightening disturbance that locked down multiple buildings at our Downey Medical Center. We’re heartened that all of our patients, members, employees and physicians are safe with no injuries reported.
As of now, most departments on the Downey campus have reopened, with the exception of the Orchard Medical Office Building, Psych/Addiction Medicine department where the incident took place. Patients whose appointments were delayed are being contacted to reschedule.
It’s our hope that situations like this never occur, but we do plan for them, because the safety and security of our people—patients, members, employees and physicians—is paramount. That’s one of the reasons why our Downey Medical Center had recently completed an active-shooter drill. Law enforcement even mentioned this preparation—and its importance—in a media briefing held after the event today.
Knowing events like this can create deep mental stress, we immediately provided EAP and mental health for the patients, visitors and our staff on site. We will continue to provide these services on site the rest of the week for our Downey employees and physicians who may need assistance. As a reminder, EAP is available to any Kaiser Permanente employee who needs support.
We’ve been hearing wonderful stories about how the community of Downey came together and how our neighbors supported KP. There’s one special story about a company across the street that brought hundreds of bottles of water to people who were evacuated and waiting outside in the summer sun. This act of kindness added a bright spot to difficult moments.
Thank you to everyone involved with our work to ensure a safe, secure, and respectful environment. It is critically important that all of us understand our department’s and area’s emergency plans and the safe, secure and respectful program. We’re also grateful for the people of City of Downey who took quick and proper action, especially the first responders, including the Downey Police Department and the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department for their rapid response and expertise.
Be well and take care of yourself and each other.
Julie and Ed