PHILADELPHIA >> Trinity Health has announced that effective immediately the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19.
St. Mary Medical Center in Middletown Township is a member of Trinity Health.
The requirement applies to Trinity Health’s more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide in an effort stop to the spread of the virus and keep all patients, colleagues and the broader communities safe. This includes Trinity Health’s 7,200 colleagues.
Since December 2020, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization, Trinity Health has strongly encouraged vaccination for all colleagues and within the communities its various Health Ministries serve. To date, the health system estimates nearly 75% of Trinity Health employees have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and it now looks to close the gap with this new requirement.
“Safety is a core value at Trinity Health; part of our mission as caregivers is to protect the people we serve,” says James Woodward, president and CEO of Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. “Vaccination against COVID-19 is part of our multifaceted strategy to help stop the pandemic and protect our communities.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate more than 331 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and death with more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths today occurring in unvaccinated people.
“The science is clear - vaccination against COVID-19 is saving lives,” says Sharon Carney, MD, chief clinical officer for Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic. “It’s the right thing to do. As a healthcare system and as caregivers, it is our responsibility to provide a safe environment for our colleagues, patients and communities.”
Employees at Trinity Health and its Health Ministries must meet a series of rolling deadlines, with most locations requiring them to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, 2021. It has not yet been determined if a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be required annually, but if so, employees will also need to submit proof of the booster as needed. Exemptions are available for religious or health reasons and must be formally requested, documented and approved. Employees who do not meet criteria for exemption and fail to show proof of vaccination will have their employment terminated.
For more information about Trinity Health Mid-Atlantic, visit https://www.trinityhealthma.org/.