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The Vision

Workplace violence statistics are seemingly shocking to those who do not know the healthcare or school system industry in an intimate way.

OSHA defines workplace violence as, "any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site." Press Ganey released a survey this year stating that every hour 2 out of every 10 nurses in the US are assaulted. At Cortex the belief is that this rate is probably significantly higher due to underreporting and a culture of acceptance.

The problem is one that Healthcare systems are being forced to tackle in a post-COVID-19 fragile economic system that is riddled with poor retention rates and quality of care metrics. Co-founder of Cortex Gold, Mel Cortez a Registered Nurse and healthcare violence reduction expert stated,

"What we are all coming to realize is that these failing statistics are numbers that correlate. To place them in silos that deem them seemingly unrelatable or even unmanageable in a synergistic approach is to hinder our clients (a healthcare organization)'s capability."

At Cortex Gold, the mission is to collaborate with organizations to provide unparalleled protection and support to healthcare systems and educational institutions due to their overlapping security issues and workforce demographics. When delivering keynotes Mel's constant theme is this,

"When faced with large systems issues organizations must remain focused on Workforce support programs that are designed for the majority of the culture driving employees within each industry. "

With over 80% of the Nursing workforce predominantly female, and a similar demographic existing for school system educators, Cortex believes that their innovative solutions will be applicable to both areas.

"Security in these industries has been left to a small, undermanned department of retired police and under-trained Security Officers. They have been left to manage a problem that is much deeper than a 2-page security plan and unpractical policies driven by customer satisfaction, "

says co-founder Samuel DelaCruz a retired Marine and Executive Protection specialist who has joined Mel on this journey.

"I needed to find the best of the best to protect my colleagues and my kids, so I thought who is better than a group of veterans that are highly trained enough to protect senators and congressman? After the last few years we've had, my colleagues deserve at least that. " said Mel 2 years ago when the journey began.

Which leads us to the ongoing question in healthcare, who is the real customer?

Healthcare workers (and teachers) join the profession for selfless reasons. It is at the core of a caregiver and an educator to give and continue to do so even in the midst of failing systems and large adversity. This is why healthcare has survived thus far. But to expect the new generation of employees; who can leverage social media to expose formerly hidden truths, to endure the same grueling expectations for minimal wages is nieve. Especially when people of the same demographic are working fewer hours, with less ingenuity to build revenue through entrepreneurship, private practice, or tech innovation.

Healthcare systems and schools will need to offer their employees something new, something innovative, and something worthy of their caregiver's sacrifice.

The same old offerings of staff comradery opportunities or free meals are no longer sufficient. They want solutions that work and the hero narrative has exposed the fact that it is warranted.

Cortex Gold emerged as a thought leader in the bedside delivery of security solutions that work due to rising demand from a workforce that spoke up saying, "We deserve training and support programs that actually work." Long past are the days of online modules and one-hour sessions on Workplace Violence Reduction at orientation. The care team must work in tandem with a growing Healthcare Safety and Security industry that aims to modify its approach to one that is centered on patient care delivery and workforce support.

The vision at Cortex Gold remains focused on workforce readiness on both the clinical and security side, by teaching situational awareness and taking proactive measures to reduce threats.

"By taking an innovative and collaborative approach to policy development, we will create safe and secure environments, and empower healthcare providers and educators to focus on their core mission of healing and educating our communities".

- Mr. Sam DelaCruz, Co-founder, USMC Retired

To meet the demand that is growing for highly trained healthcare-specific Security Officers and Healthcare clinician team leads Cortex has designed the first Mobile Tactical Unit for Healthcare. They believe this model will be easily replicated for school systems and those that need to meet a similar customer service-centric approach to securing vulnerable populations.

Their current plan is to apply for grant funding and corporate sponsorships to construct a training facility that hosts simulation labs, classrooms, psychological evaluation and therapy rooms as well as a tech showroom for the nation's most innovative Security innovations. Cortex has developed a vast network of security solutions allowing them to create a tailored approach to designing a Workplace Violence Program that works for each client.

Each Tactical Reps will be certified in tech solutions as well as in advanced leadership skills through Spartan Leadership, advanced MMA and Tactical Training through Eddie Diaz MMA, and level IV officer capabilities through Paratus Investigations. Cortex will provide healthcare or school-specific track certifications and targeted brand awareness for each of our client's facilities prior to entering the location. This tailored approach allows them to employ vets while guaranteeing a high degree of quality that cookie-cutter programs cannot allow.

Cortex has developed partnerships within the Active Shooter Prevention Project led by world-renowned expert Chris Grollnek, setting them apart as the premier Workplace Violence consulting agency in the space. This group includes the top experts in prevention and threat management in the world.

"I love ASPP becasue Chris has brough together some incredible technology that we can offer clients such as an innovative table-top simulation technology that is cloud-based and easily integrated by all staff at any level of the system offered by Tod Langely from Crisis Response Leader Training," said Mel.

By utilizing veterans who have been trained in situational awareness, threat assessment, and weapons retainment/usage at a high degree, Cortex is able to build on an already existing strong foundation. It allows for rapid training and deployment of Tactical Reps to support a dwindling workforce. The goal of Cortex Gold is to guide and support organizations as they scale their Workplace Violence Reduction efforts, to help them collect data and conduct research that ties security to healthcare's biggest pain points; retention metrics, quality, and patient satisfaction scores.

Founded by a nurse and veteran, Cortex Gold believes in the unique opportunity that organizations now have to use security solutions to show their support to those they care for and employ.

To donate to the veteran-led training center please visit their website at

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