PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — By the end of September, OSF Healthcare will require all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
OSF Healthcare Chief Operating Officer Mike Cruz said the decision was not made lightly.
“As health care providers, it is our ethical obligation to be vigilant about the safety of our patients,” Cruz said. “Vaccinations are credited with the decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases across the country and throughout our Ministry, and we firmly believe that vaccination against COVID-19 is the best way to keep our patients and Mission Partners safe.”
Based on the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officials plan to continue monitoring the science surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and assess the pandemic situation as a whole.
“OSF has been consistent in recommending vaccinations as our best shot to move forward to end this pandemic that has taken so much from so many, but we need everyone on board to make a deep and lasting impact,” said Shelley Nguyen, vice president of workforce management, OSF HealthCare. “Our communities we serve and our patients depend on us to create a safe, healthy environment. We owe that same commitment to our Mission Partners.”
In accordance with existing OSF policies, employees must also be vaccinated against the flu and other diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, and whooping cough. Religious or medical exemptions are available and must be formally requested, documented, and approved.
A refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by any employee who does not qualify for an exemption may result in disciplinary processes and possible termination.
More than 24,000 employees work at 150 locations throughout the state of Illinois and Michigan for OSF HealthCare.