Today, Hospice of the Chesapeake announced that 98.33 percent of its employees are vaccinated for COVID-19. The not-for-profit community-based healthcare company providing care in Anne Arundel, Charles and Prince George’s counties began implementing its vaccine policy in July.
“Requiring COVID-19 vaccinations is the right thing to do for our patients, their families, our care team members, their families, our volunteers and our healthcare business partners. We take our role in the health of this community very seriously and this decision is in keeping with our corporate values of courage and service to others. We are honored to stand in solidarity with our local hospitals and care facilities in this endeavor as we have for the last 15 months.” said Michael Brady, President and CEO.
In July, Hospice of the Chesapeake announced to its workforce a Sept. 1 deadline for unvaccinated employees, including those who work remotely today or in the future, to become fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or apply for a medical or religious exemption. This requirement extended to all employees, contractors, interns, visiting students and volunteers. On Sept. 1, the organization reported that 98.33 percent of employees were vaccinated, with only a small group of granted exceptions for legitimate medical and religious purposes. Equally important, the organization requires daily screening for symptoms and possible travel exposure even for vaccinated employees.
“We view this decision as a logical extension of our ongoing role as thought leaders in the regional healthcare community” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eric Bush. Bush added, “Every organization and community member has an important part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Strong vaccination rates have allowed us to feel more hopeful, but the impact of newly emerging variants remain a real threat. Vaccination is the best resource we have to safeguard everyone and focus on eradicating COVID-19.”
Hospice of the Chesapeake’s leadership team believes strongly in their role as providers of care for those living with advanced illness and experiencing end of life and is committed to continuing to allow access for patients and their families for those critically important end-of-life visits and conversations. “We will do everything in our power to ensure families can visit with their loved ones in a safe and healthy environment when and where it’s right for them.” said Bush.
In addition to employee daily screening, the organization also screens all patients, family members and visitors to inpatient care centers and offices for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arrival and requires the appropriate use of personal protective equipment based on unique situation. As well, the organization offers COVID-19 vaccines and testing for its employees, volunteers, and patients.
The community nonprofit encourages other employers, community leaders, and business partners to set an example that reflects our shared responsibility to protect our communities’ health by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.