Virtua Receives Award for Health System Security

On March 11, 2019, Virtua became the first health system in the state to receive an esteemed award for safety and security.

The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) recently presented its Program of Distinction award to the 150-plus members of the Virtua Security Department.

Virtua is First in N.J. to Receive Prestigious Award for Health System Security - Virtua News“Virtua’s security program joins an elite group of health care security programs across the country that have achieved this lofty summit,” said IAHSS President Alan J. Butler. “From leadership to the officer in the hospital, this achievement speaks to the commitment they’ve made to provide a safe and secure environment for the organization’s patients, visitors, and staff.”

The honor requires more than 70% of an organization’s security officers to earn certification in health care security and safety.

“Safety is a tenet of any health system, and that extends beyond medical care. This terrific achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our outstanding security team,” said Virtua President and CEO Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE.

“We should all take pride in this accomplishment,” added Paul Sarnese, Virtua’s assistant vice president of Safety, Security, and Emergency Management. “It’s truly a mark of distinction, and another way Virtua shows our tireless focus on the well-being of our community.”

IAHSS’s Butler expressed similar views: “There is nothing more impactful to the quality of a health care security program than the training and education of its leaders and staff.”

About Virtua

Virtua is South Jersey’s largest health system, committed to the mission of helping people be well, get well, and stay well and averaging more than one million patient encounters each year. Virtua’s 9,000-plus employees provide comprehensive care at three hospitals and nearly 200 other locations, in addition to bringing health services directly into communities through home health, rehabilitation, mobile screenings, and its paramedic program. Virtua has 1,000 affiliated doctors and other clinicians, and its specialties include orthopedics, advanced surgery, and maternity. Virtua is affiliated with Penn Medicine for cancer and neuroscience, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for pediatrics. As a not-for-profit, Virtua is committed to the well-being of the community and provides innovative outreach programs that address social challenges affecting health, from addiction and other behavioral issues to lack of nutritious food and stable housing. A Magnet-recognized health system ranked by U.S. News and World Report, Virtua has received many awards for quality, safety, and its outstanding work environment.  


The International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) is the only organization solely dedicated to professionals involved in managing and directing security and safety programs in healthcare facilities. IAHSS is a professional association with more than 2,000 members who are healthcare security, law enforcement, safety and emergency management leaders. For over 50 years, IAHSS has educated and served members and the profession by offering exclusive resources and benefits including industry and design guidelines, local and international educational and networking opportunities, and the celebrated bi-annual Journal of Healthcare Protection Management. IAHSS has certified tens of thousands of dedicated professionals who keep healthcare facilities, patients, staff and visitors safe. IAHSS offers the Basic, Advanced and Supervisor certifications, a Safety Certificate Program, and maintains the prestigious Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA) certification, the standard for the healthcare security leader dedicated to the profession.