Spencer Hospital Requires COVID-19 Vaccination for Employees
on Monday, August 30, 2021
For the health and safety of its patients, visitors and healthcare team, Spencer Hospital is implementing a COVID-19 vaccination policy effective September 1, 2021. It will require that hospital employees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of employment by December 1, 2021.
In a message to hospital employees, Spencer Hospital president Bill Bumgarner presented the rationale for the requirement.
“Hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again in the United States as the Delta variant contributes to an alarming increase in infections throughout the country,” he said. “An overwhelming number of the new infections, hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated. Vaccination is the best way forward to limit the threat of COVID-19.”
Bumgarner addressed the sentiment held by some that a vaccine decision should be one of personal choice.
“I generally agree that healthcare decisions are best made between individuals and their doctors; however, the circumstances associated with the COVID-19 vaccine are much different,” he said. “In this instance, we’re fighting the spread of a serious and highly transmissible virus. The vaccine not only protects the individual, but is also necessary to protect others. This includes those who cannot be vaccinated, such as young children and adults with certain underlying health conditions. Vaccination also helps to slow the spread of the virus and – hopefully – limit the emergence of new and potentially more serious variants.”
Hospital employees can request medical or religious exemptions, according to Bumgarner, and pregnant employees can choose to get vaccinated or wait until a time period after having their baby. He said approximately 70 percent of Spencer Hospital employees and its active medical staff have been vaccinated.
In his message to employees, Bumgarner directly addressed the prospect that there may be employees who choose to leave employment with the hospital because of the vaccine requirement.
“Should you choose to leave Spencer Hospital because you hold strong beliefs about the vaccination requirement, I understand,” he said. “Perhaps we can all work together again when the pandemic is finally behind us. But I want to be clear, I hope that after considering vaccination from both a personal and professional perspective, you choose to stay. You are a valued team member and we need you.”
Bumgarner concluded his message to employees by acknowledging their commitment to meet the needs of its patients throughout the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered a harsh toll on our society in many ways. But the Spencer medical community continues to persevere,” he said. “Thanks for all you have done to meet every challenge Spencer Hospital has faced over the past 18 months. These are demanding times. But there’s one thing I know with certainty. We will join together and see this through, with respect and caring for one another and the patients who place their trust in us each day.”