Code Pink Helps Saves Lives

code pink
Back Row from left to right: Ola Henderson, public safety supervisor; Kathy Hanold, RN, executive director of patient services; Ronald Rekosh, public safety supervisor and investigator; Rodney Morris, director of public safety.

Front Row from left to right: Michelle Johnson, RN, patient safety coordinator; Jamie O'Malley, vice president and chief nursing officer; Kathy Cisco, RN, director of general and multi-specialty pediatrics and co-chair of the Infant/Child Security Oversight Committee; Josue Vazquez, call center manager; Constance Shay-Hadley, RN, director of the Women's Care Center and also co-chair of the Infant/Child Oversight Committee.

Photo by David Christopher

By Kadesha Thomas

When Medical Center employees hear “Code Pink” announced overhead, it means stop everything because a patient’s life could be in danger. Starting January 4, “Code Pink” will be the new name for the Medical Center’s protocol to alert employees and visitors about a possible child abduction.

“Code Pink is like the national ‘Amber Alert’ for hospitals,” said Kathy Hanold, RN, executive director of patient services. The Medical Center has combined the “Dr. Seuss” and “Dr. Hugs” protocols to coincide with national regulations. “Now, we can increase awareness around infant and child theft,” Hanold said.

If a child is missing, first dial 1-4-7 and tell the operator “Code Pink,” followed by the patient’s age category (infant, child or adolescent), and the unit where the child was last seen. So, “Code Pink, infant, Comer 5” means an infant is missing from the fifth floor of Comer Children’s Hospital, said Kathy Cisco, clinical director of patient services. Cisco co-chairs the Infant/Child Security Oversight Committee with Constance Shay-Hadley, director of the Women’s Care Center.

All employees should respond by securing all exits and doorways. No one is allowed to leave the hospital until “Code Pink, all clear” is announced.

About 256 child abductions have occurred nationwide since 1983. Fifty percent occur in hospitals. All employees are expected to take a brief online training and test about “Code Pink” before December 31 by following the Intranet’s Training and Career Development link to log onto the Learning Management System.