COVID-19 vaccines are now required for Mercy Health employees

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COVID-19 vaccines are now required for Mercy Health employees

GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Wood) — Workers at Mercy Health in western Michigan will have to get the COVID-19 vaccination to keep their jobs after parent company Trinity Health announced Thursday that it will require the shots.

Trinity Health said in a statement that “all colleagues, clinic staff, contractors and those who run business in its healthcare facilities” should be vaccinated. It has set rolling deadlines, but most of them must have their vaccinations by September 21. Those who do not show evidence of vaccination by then will be expelled.

Some exceptions may be granted based on health or religious reasons. These medical exceptions include becoming pregnant or planning to become pregnant within the next year because research on the use of the vaccine in pregnant women is still ongoing.

In all, the mandate affects about 117,000 employees in 22 states. This includes 24,000 workers in Michigan. There are about 10,000 at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids, Mercy Health Mercy Campus in Muskegon, Mercy Health Lakeshore Campus in Shelby Village, and Mercy Health Physician Partners. The rest are at Saint Joseph Mercy Health System Hospital and the IHA Group in southeastern Michigan.

Trinity, which previously strongly encouraged but did not require vaccine shots, said it estimates that 75% of its workers have already received at least one dose.

“We’ve been thinking about (this requirement) for a while. As a healthcare system, we try to be a trusted partner in health. And part of the trust is that when people come to our facilities, to our hospitals, there’s an assumption that we’re safe. And when we’re not vaccinated 1 Of all 4 of your employees, we probably don’t consider that safety. Rob Casalo, president and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan and Southeast Regions, told News 8 in an interview with Zoom on Thursday, so this was critical to our decision.” In terms of timing, the aggressiveness of the last variant was, and delta variableand concern about more variables as many people remain vulnerable.”

He said he knew this could lead some staff to leave Trinity Hospitals.

“We understand that. We will be working really hard here over the next few weeks to prevent that from happening,” Casalo said. “Many employees are not yet vaccinated, and many are still concerned about the safety of the vaccine or feel it is subject to an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) ), and it is not fully approved, and there is some trepidation. And so we have a lot of data to share that shows safety and efficacy. We want to help people feel comfortable getting vaccinated, as many of us have done. I hope most people stay.”

He pointed out that the hospital system has been requiring workers to be vaccinated with influenza for many years.

Henry Ford Health System on the southeast side of the state declared a Similar demand for COVID-19 vaccine late last month. Casalo said he expects more hospital systems to follow suit, and eventually, all systems may require a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We stand by science and safety and believe it is the right thing to do,” Casalo said.

Spectrum Health, western Michigan’s largest health care provider and also the region’s largest employer, told News 8 in a statement Thursday that it continues to “strongly encourage” workers to get vaccinated, but vaccination is not currently mandatory. She said nearly 70% of those working in-person have been vaccinated.

Spectrum Health strongly encourages our team members to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. We provide the information needed for people to make an informed decision and deliver the vaccine in many safe and convenient locations throughout the health system. At this time, it remains optional and not mandatory for team members. Nearly 70% of our team members have been vaccinated on site. We continue to practice active infection control measures, including strict cleaning protocols, concealment in all clinical areas and daily symptom screening for all team members on site. Additionally, we continue to monitor positivity and vaccination rates in the community and among our team members.”

spectrum health

across Michigan, 62% of all residents 16 years of age and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The state is targeting 70%. In an effort to reach this goal, state health officials have partnered with Meijer to host a Sweepstakes donates nearly $5 million in cash prizes and scholarships For those who get at least one dose.

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