Meet Dennis Swift, RN, Associate Safety and Emergency Management Officer

Dennis Swift at SLH

A U.S. Air Force Veteran, Dennis Swift leads Southcoast's Emergency Response Efforts

As we have seen firsthand with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential for hospital systems in our region, across the country, and around the world to be prepared for rapid increases in patients seeking care at any time.

Emergencies can range from car accidents to natural disasters to public health crises, and when one happens, it is important for hospitals and other health care facilities to have a strong plan in place.  

At Southcoast Health, Dennis Swift, RN, is the Associate Safety and Emergency Management Officer, a role he took over this year. In this position, he guides our staff and facilities in meeting the safety measures and regulations set forth by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Joint Commission, as well as coordinating comprehensive emergency response plans.

Having served as a combat medic and commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, he brings extensive emergency management experience both in the military and as a civilian.

“My favorite part of this job is working with everyone across the organization toward a common goal,” Dennis says. He started as an Emergency Nurse at Southcoast Health in 2013, working in the St. Luke and Charlton Memorial Emergency Centers for nine years before transitioning to his new role.  

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began in 2020, Dennis did not hesitate to jump into action and served as the RN team lead across all three COVID-19 testing sites outside each of the Southcoast Health Hospital Emergency Centers.   

“During that time, it was amazing to see everyone across departments come together when we were up against the unknown,” he says. “Each person on that team truly went above and beyond for our patients and community. It was one giant team effort from Southcoast and everyone came to work every day, outside despite the winter weather, to support each other and our community.”

This week, Dennis is proud to recognize Veterans Day.

“To me, Veterans Day is a time to stop and think about what everyone who has served in our military has done in the past,” he said. “Veterans Day is a time to say thank you for everything, to all veterans, for what they have done serving our country. It is easy to become so busy these days, and it is important to have this day as a hard stop to recognize this and pay respects to all in the military, past and present, for their sacrifices.”

Outside of work, Dennis lives in Plymouth with his wife and two children. He is proud to have coached them both in soccer and football, sports he also grew up playing.

In the region, he is involved in many different community programs, including Heroes in Transition, a group supporting local veterans and military families.

He has participated in the state’s emergency preparedness committee and, in January 2021, he retired from serving in the Air National Guard after 28 years. In these roles, he continued working with public safety departments across the region to prepare and train for disasters.

Thank you, Dennis!

Note to all Southcoast Veterans:

Thank you to our veterans throughout our region, across the country, and around the world – especially those at Southcoast Health.

In the coming months, we are working to start a Veteran’s Employee Resource Group. If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Barbara Schmidt, Director of Organizational Culture & Engagement and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair, at

Please also share your stories, so that we may recognize your service and contributions.