Tuesday, August 31

Mountain Health Network requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

To best support the health and safety of patients, healthcare workers and the community, Mountain Health Network (MHN) is requiring staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to minimize their risk of acquiring the virus while providing greater assurance for patients in seeking the healthcare services they need.

“As the Tri-State’s premier healthcare provider, we must set the example for our communities by leading the way in vaccination. The safety of our staff and patients who trust us with their care remains our top priority, and we must do everything that we can as a health system to defeat this pandemic,” said Larry Dial, MD, chief clinical officer, MHN. “Fighting COVID-19 has been a difficult battle for all of us, but it’s a battle we can win if we utilize the best weapon we have against the virus — COVID-19 vaccines. We know that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing severe illness and death, as well as reducing the spread of the virus.

Employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 30, unless granted an exception for medical or religious reasons or have completed a vaccine declination form. Employees who are granted exceptions or have declined the vaccine will be required to follow additional health and safety precautions, including regular COVID-19 testing.

“We cannot allow this virus to interfere with our commitment to the health and well-being of all we serve,” Dr. Dial said. “A fully vaccinated workforce will help us maintain the integrity of our healthcare system and ensure our ability to continue to provide the services our patients need.”

“We are pleased that the SEIU is willing to work with us on this important employee health issue,” stated Molly Frick, director of human resources, Cabell Huntington Hospital. “The SEIU has agreed to bargain with CHH over the effects of the new MHN COVID Prevention Program.”

MHN officials also stress the importance of community members getting vaccinated to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent severe illness and death. “Due to the highly aggressive Delta variant of the virus, we are seeing unvaccinated COVID patients who are more ill than our previous COVID patients,” Dr. Dial said. “We urge everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including vaccination locations and frequently asked vaccine questions, visit www.mountainhealthnetwork.org.