Indiana’s biggest hospital system and 125 former staff have parted ways because the former employees didn’t comply with the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
“Indiana University Health has put the safety and well-being of patients and team members first by requiring employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1,” the hospital said in an emailed statement.
Earlier this month, the hospital immediately suspended hundreds of hospital employees who were not vaccinated before the September 1 deadline, according to the IU spokeswoman. Many came into compliance during the past two weeks by getting vaccinated.
“After a two-week unpaid suspension period ending Sept. 14, a total of 125 employees, the equivalent of 61 full time employees, chose not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and have left the organization,” the statement said. “IU Health has granted exemptions for medical and religious reasons.” All remaining employees have complied with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
A hospital spokeswoman said the hospital has 36,000 employees. Over 1 million patients have been treated at the organization’s 15 hospitals and dozens of outpatient clinics, according to the hospital web site.
The Indiana University Health spokeswoman said the non-compliant employees were separated from the organization, when asked whether the former employees quit, or were fired.
“As a large heathcare organization with a responsibility to our patients and team members, IU Health medical and infectious disease experts decided to require the vaccine for all team members,” the spokeswoman said.
The midwestern hospital system joins a growing list of hospitals around the country that are requiring their employees to be fully vaccinated against the Covid-19 strain of influenza.
Some other hospital groups include:
- Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau, Ala., mandates vaccination by December 15 as a condition of employment
- Concord (N.H.) Hospital is requiring vaccination for employees this fall, according to the Concord Monitor
- The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kan., is mandating vaccination
- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon, N.H., is requiring its employees to be vaccinated
- Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered NYS healthcare workers to get their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27
- Ochsner Health in New Orleans, is mandating all employees be vaccinated by Oct. 29
- CoxHealth in Springfield, Mo., required all employees to get their first vaccine dose by Oct. 15
- Envision Healthcare in Nashville, Tenn., said all 30,000 employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 1
Many more will probably follow suit after President Joe Biden Biden’s sweeping mandate for private-sector employees, like health care workers that requires businesses with at least 100 employees to have staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly. That mandate has met threats of legal action from dozens of state governors and attorneys general.
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