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Hoag Reassures in Wake of Doctor Shooting

Nerves may be jangled, but the incident was isolated and visitors should feel safe, a hospital official says. When asked about possible security changes, the official declines to comment.

Although nerves may be rattled by Monday's fatal shooting of a Newport Beach urologist, patients should feel safe visiting Hoag and its medical buildings, a hospital official said.

"Hoag has been here for over 60 years, and nothing even close to this has ever occurred," hospital CEO Richard Richard Afable said. "Our role is to provide healthcare and do what is necessary for our patients in a safe and secure environment."

Dr. Ronald Gilbert was gunned down Monday afternoon in a medical exam room at the Hoag Medical Group building at 520 Superior Ave. Afable called the slaying a "senseless act of violence" that has devastated the hospital. Police say the shooting was an isolated incident, and the alleged shooter -- 75-year-old Stanwood Fred Elkus -- was quickly captured.

Hoag officials declined to provide specifics about their security policies and procedures.

Afable wouldn't comment on whether the hospital planned to change any of its security measures, but reiterated Hoag's commitment to providing a secure healthcare environment.

"We are constantly evaluating our safety and security procedures and protocols," he said. "Our mission and goal is to provide great healthcare, and we do for literally thousands of people on an annual basis."

A security guard was monitoring the medical center on Monday and Tuesday, but Hoag officials declined to say whether the guard was armed or if such guards are routinely stationed at the hospital.

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