PeaceHealth Requires COVID-19 Vaccination 

Posted August 4, 2021 at 5:42 am by

Unvac­ci­nat­ed Care­givers With Qual­i­fy­ing Med­ical Exemp­tions Sub­ject to Height­ened Mask­ing, Dis­tanc­ing, and Reg­u­lar Test­ing Protocols 

August 3, 2021– VANCOUVER, Wash. – Peace­Health announced that start­ing August 31, 2021, all care­givers will be required to be vac­ci­nat­ed against COVID-19 or sub­mit a qual­i­fy­ing med­ical exemp­tion. Unvac­ci­nat­ed indi­vid­u­als will be sub­ject to reg­u­lar COVID-19 test­ing, as well as addi­tion­al mask­ing, poten­tial reas­sign­ment to non-patient care set­tings, and oth­er safe­ty pro­to­cols. The pol­i­cy will apply to all care­givers, includ­ing providers, stu­dents, con­trac­tors, ven­dors, and volunteers. 

“Though near­ly 80% of Peace­Health care­givers have already been vac­ci­nat­ed, the rise in hos­pi­tal­iza­tions in our com­mu­ni­ties is a stark reminder that we are fac­ing a pub­lic health emer­gency and we must do more,” said Dr. Doug Koekkoek, PeaceHealth’s Chief Physi­cian Exec­u­tive. “We believe all health­care work­ers who are med­ical­ly able should get a COVID-19 vac­cine to keep them­selves, our patients, and our com­mu­ni­ties safe. 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.” 

While the orga­ni­za­tion has had high rates of vol­un­tary care­giv­er vac­ci­na­tion, after thought­ful delib­er­a­tion and a for­mal eth­i­cal dis­cern­ment, Peace­Health joins many health sys­tems across the coun­try, and pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing the Catholic Health Asso­ci­a­tion, the Amer­i­can Hos­pi­tal Asso­ci­a­tion, the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion, the Amer­i­can Nurs­es Asso­ci­a­tion, and oth­ers in ensur­ing pub­lic health by requir­ing vaccination. 

Bob K. Pelz, MD, PeaceHealth’s sys­tem med­ical direc­tor of Infec­tion Pre­ven­tion, not­ed that “New vari­ants of COVID-19 pose a crit­i­cal threat to those unable to be vac­ci­nat­ed, includ­ing chil­dren and the med­ical­ly vul­ner­a­ble. 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.”

This new pol­i­cy is a reflec­tion of the organization’s shared com­mit­ment to ensure every patient receives safe care at Peace­Health and is part of a mul­ti-mea­sured approach to pro­tect care­givers and patients, along with the sup­ply of per­son­al pro­tec­tive equip­ment, rou­tine test­ing, mask­ing, social dis­tanc­ing, dili­gent hygiene, con­tact trac­ing and prop­er quarantining. 

About Peace­Health: Peace­Health, based in Van­cou­ver, Wash., is a not-for-prof­it Catholic health sys­tem offer­ing care to com­mu­ni­ties in Wash­ing­ton, Ore­gon and Alas­ka. Peace­Health has approx­i­mate­ly 16,000 care­givers, a med­ical group prac­tice with more than 1,200 providers and 10 med­ical cen­ters serv­ing both urban and rur­al com­mu­ni­ties through­out the North­west. In 1890, the Sis­ters of St. Joseph of Peace found­ed what has become Peace­Health. The Sis­ters shared exper­tise and trans­ferred wis­dom from one med­ical cen­ter to anoth­er, always find­ing the best way to serve the unmet need for health­care in their com­mu­ni­ties. Today, Peace­Health is the lega­cy of the found­ing Sis­ters and con­tin­ues with a spir­it of respect, stew­ard­ship, col­lab­o­ra­tion and social jus­tice in ful­fill­ing its Mis­sion. Vis­it us online at peacehealth.org.

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