MNA 2024 Spring Education Day

Workplace Violence Prevention: Going Beyond De-Escalation

Date: April 11, 2024
Time: 12:45pm – 5:30pm
Venue: Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center,  219 S Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824
(A Zoom option will be made available to those unable to attend in person)
Cost: $35 for non-members, free for students and MNA members

Professional development contact hours: 4.0

About The Event

This 4-hour live hybrid event will provide nurses and other healthcare professionals with not only knowledge about what they and their healthcare organizations can do to combat workplace violence, but it will equip them with self-defense skills they can use when faced with violent persons in the workplace. Nurses and other healthcare professionals will hear from a nationally known clinical psychologist on how to assess and implement violence prevention strategies beyond de-escalation techniques. As participants, they will also have a chance to practice self-defense skills demonstrated by a self-defense expert with experience in workplace violence prevention and personal safety.

We will assess COVID-19 activity level close to the time of the event and will highly recommend masking especially for those who are immunocompromised. Masks will be provided regardless of the activity level.

Featured Speakers and Topics

Tony Thrasher

KEYNOTE: Workplace Violence in Healthcare: Processing Current State,  Reducing Risk, and Promoting Best Practices in Threat Assessment and the Treatment of Agitation

Tony Thrasher, D.O., MBA, CPE, DFAPA
Medical Director of Crisis Services – Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division
President: Wisconsin Psychiatric Association & Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physician and Surgeons
Clinical Associate Professor: Medical College of Wisconsin

Dr. Tony Thrasher is a board-certified psychiatrist employed as the medical director for the Crisis Services branch of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.  He received his psychiatric training from Washington University in St. Louis at Barnes Jewish Hospital, and he is the Immediate Past President of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry (AAEP). He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and he currently serves as the President for both the Wisconsin Psychiatric Association (WPA) and the Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (WAOPS). 

A Comprehensive Approach to Personal Safety in the Workplace: Verbal, Spatial and Physical Skills for Safety & Self-Defense

Tanya Panizzo, B.S
Self-defense instructor: Fighting Spirit Personal Safety

Ms. Tanya Panizzo has a B.S. in Polymer Science  and over 10 years- experience as a Chemist and Engineer for the Automotive Industry. She is a Certified radKIDS Safety Instructor and creator of Girls-r-Pearls Safety Program. She also developed the Creator Fighting Spirit Women’s Comprehensive Self Defense curriculum and has a 6th degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do  and a Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. She is a contributor to the University of Michigan 10 Point Promise to Sexual Assault Survivors program and a contract employee for Michigan State University who has helped with the implementation of the self-defense programming on campus. Ms. Panizzo is the owner and instructor of a thriving Martial Arts Academy  and a mother to a beautiful daughter.

Key Objectives:

  1. Define and process the state of workplace violence and the specific components that are particular to the healthcare milieu.
  2. Educate upon the specific techniques and approaches that can mitigate risk within the healthcare workplace violence continuum.
  3. Manifest evidence-based treatment approaches for the symptom of agitation (regardless of etiology).
  4. Clarify the field of threat assessment and the role it can play in lowering risk to not only affective violence but also predatory violence.
  5. Recognize how posture and a display of vulnerability contributes to the selection of a perpetrators target.
  6. Identify signs of danger in others and in the environment and how violence escalates.
  7. Apply verbal skills, spatial awareness skills and physical skills to defend yourself and escape danger.

Successful completion criteria:

  1. Attend both live presentations in their entirety
  2. Successfully complete post session evaluation for each presentation

Nurses who attend both sessions in their entirety and complete each session evaluation form will be awarded 4.0 professional development contact hours.

Activity Outcome:

(for both sessions) 80% of participants will report that each session provided information that enhanced or validated current knowledge.

Relevant Financial Relationships and Commercial bias: 

No relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or commercial bias exist for anyone in the position to control content for this activity.


The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. 


Deadline for registration is Monday April 8th. Registrants can withdraw and ask for a refund up until that date.