At Baptist Health South Florida, Michael S. D’Angelo, CPP, takes a lead role in providing a safe, secure environment for the more than one million patients treated at the healthcare system’s facilities each year, as well as for the 16,000 employees and 2,000 physicians who work there, and the many who come to visit. There is no typical day on the job for this career law enforcement officer who transitioned into the private sector, taking the position of manager, emergency preparedness and security, two years ago.
“The security profession seemed like a natural transition from law enforcement,” observes D’Angelo. “It is truly one of the most progressive and evolving career fields today. It demands a high level of education and professionalism.”
In preparation for his transition, D’Angelo joined several professional organizations, including ASIS in 2009, to gain industry-specific knowledge and experience. He also recognized the need to establish his competence in the field and achieved his CPP certification last September.
“Achieving my CPP gave me not only credibility, but provided genuine skill and knowledge in security management,” notes D’Angelo.
D’Angelo’s core responsibilities include overseeing equipment safety, conducting vulnerability analysis and facility security surveys, and training staff. He teaches a healthcare workplace safety program (which he developed) to all staff members. The program was created in response to the increase in workplace violence cases in hospital settings. D’Angelo recalls feeling uneasy when teaching the program for the first time, but he was rewarded when staff comments confirmed the importance of the information and suggested the training should be mandatory.
Baptist Health South Florida is part of a healthcare system that includes six hospitals and many other types of medical facilities. For D’Angelo and his colleagues, this poses many security challenges. “Each facility has its own security department and security management team,”
D’Angelo explains. “We have been working to standardize practices and policies as a system in an effort to increase our professionalism and to more effectively protect the hospitals, both physically and legally.”
When facing challenges such as these, D’Angelo recognizes the value of the professional network and resources he has gained through his ASIS membership and the confidence he has acquired through board certification.
“My ability to provide detailed research, reports, surveys, and assessments is enhanced. I think leaders within my organization recognize me as a security professional and have a greater respect for my work,” he says.