“FIVE FREEDOMS” – BULLETIN BOARD: Letter To All PeaceHealth Caregivers
Dear PeaceHealth Caregivers,
Guided by our Mission and Values, PeaceHealth will be requiring caregivers to show proof of vaccination or submit a qualifying medical exemption on or before Aug. 31, 2021, in alignment with our new COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Policy. After Aug. 31, if your Employee Health record shows you are not vaccinated, additional requirements (including masking, physical distancing, reassignment to a non-patient care setting and regular COVID-19 testing) may apply to you.
New variants of COVID-19 are a public health emergency that pose a critical threat to those unable to be vaccinated, including children and the medically vulnerable. Though nearly 80% of PeaceHealth caregivers have been vaccinated, the rise in hospitalizations and recent exposures in our facilities are a stark reminder that we must do more. It is our moral obligation to first do no harm and act for the common good. COVID-19 vaccines are proven to be the best way to protect ourselves and reduce the likelihood of harming others.
Our shared Mission and Vision call us to act now for everyone’s safety. While this new requirement only directly impacts a small percentage of caregivers who have not yet chosen or are unable to be vaccinated, it affects all of us and the communities we serve. We believe it is imperative for those who are medically able to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Doing so is part of our Mission to promote personal and community health and our Vision to make sure that every person receives safe, compassionate care.
This decision was made after considerable and thoughtful deliberation. Many health systems across the country, and professional organizations like the Catholic Health Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and others, are ensuring public health by requiring vaccination. We act with them and after unanimously confirming a formal ethical discernment by our Mission services, physician and nursing leadership, human resources, legal/government affairs, employee health and senior leadership.
As an organization focused on “personal and community health,” this policy applies to all of us, no matter where we work – not just to those providing direct patient care. It is one part of how we keep ourselves and others safe, along with personal protective equipment, routine testing, masking, social distancing, diligent hygiene, contact tracing and proper quarantining.
Supervisors and Employee Health will be following up with undeclared or unvaccinated caregivers to review the policy, exemption process, and additional requirements that may apply as well as to address any questions or concerns. In the meantime, please see the COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Policy FAQ for more details.
If you’d like to schedule a vaccination appointment now, you can do so by contacting Employee Health, or you can also receive a vaccine at many other community sites.
PeaceHealth exists to care for others. We thank those who are able to be vaccinated for taking that safe, effective step to care for others, and we express our deepest appreciation to everyone at PeaceHealth for your continued dedication. This new policy is a reflection of our shared commitment to make sure every patient receives safe care at PeaceHealth.
Doug Koekkoek, MD | Chief Physician ExecutiveShaun Harper, MD | Chief Medical Officer, PeaceHealth Medical Group
Bob K. Pelz, MD | System Medical Director of Infection Prevention