King's Daughters, St. Elizabeth Require Vaccinations For Health Care Workforce

Eleven health care systems made the joint commitment on Thursday.

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(Frankfort, Ky.) – Eleven healthcare facilities will require vaccinations for their health care staff.

Governor Andy Beshear made the announcement on Thursday that the 11 health care systems have made the following pledge:

“The health care facilities below are committed to the health and safety of our patients and employees. In support of this commitment, we will all require our health care workforce to initiate a complete COVID-19 vaccination series no later than September 15, 2021.”

The health care systems adding this vaccine include Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH), Baptist Health, CHI Saint Joseph Health, King’s Daughters Health System, Med Center Health, Norton Healthcare, Pikeville Medical Center, St. Claire Healthcare, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, UK Healthcare and UofL Health.

The new policy is designed to help health systems respond to a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the delta variant. Kentucky announced 2,583 new cases on Thursday, the highest since February 3. The state’s 10.08 percent positivity rate is at its highest since January 24.

Representatives from local health systems King’s Daughters Health and St. Elizabeth released the following statements:

“As a health care provider, it is very important we take every possible step to safely care for our patients and families. We firmly believe being fully vaccinated from COVID is essential to protect our patients, team members and people in the community that cannot be vaccinated, in particular children under 12 years old,” said Kristie Whitlatch, president and chief executive officer of King’s Daughters Health System (KDHS), who was unable to attend the press conference in person, but signed the pledge on behalf of KDHS.

With the onset of the new, highly contagious delta variant and recent surges in COVID cases in our facilities and in our communities, we must ensure that all of our associates are protected. We must do our part to keep our patients and communities safe. As health care providers, we must lead by example in creating the safest environment possible for all those we serve, and vaccines provide the strongest protection against the virus by reducing and preventing the spread among patients and peers,” Gary Blank, executive vice president and chief operating officer, St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

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