Brooklyn hospital employees overwhelmingly in compliance with COVID-19 vaccine

Prime executives at One Brooklyn Well being System, Inc. (OBHS) and SUNY Downstate Medical Heart and College Hospital of Brooklyn say that the overwhelming majority of employees are in compliance with the New York State mandate that they be vaccinated in opposition to the COVID-19 virus.

LaRay Brown, chief govt officer of OBHS, and Daybreak Skeete-Walker, vp for communications and advertising at SUNY Downstate, advised Caribbean Life in unique, separate interviews that the establishments proceed to strictly observe State protocol.

OBHS is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt company licensed underneath Article 28 of the Public Well being Legislation. OBHS is the NYS Division of Well being authorized co-operator of Brookdale College Hospital Medical Heart, Interfaith Medical Heart and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Heart.

Along with the three hospitals, OBHS serves Central and Northeast Brooklyn, comprising 12 ambulatory care facilities, two nursing properties, an assisted residing and unbiased residing facility, a transitional housing program, an pressing care heart and a retail pharmacy.

As of Nov. 1, Brown stated 94 p.c of seven, 050 staffers at OBHS have been vaccinated.

She stated 362 staffers at present have medical and non secular exceptions, and depart of absence. Of that quantity, 23 have medical exception, 191 spiritual exception, and 148 depart of absence.

Brown additionally stated that 6,625 employees have had at the very least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as of Nov. 1: 488 CIR employees (Council of Interns and Residents – the union that represents physicians in coaching); 3, 553 employees in 1199 Union; 1,034 nurses; 1, 434 non-union employees; and 116 Safety employees.

The chief govt officer stated 63 non-vaccinated staffers have been separated from employment, as of Nov. 1, of which 5 are CIR, 31 from 1199 Union, 12 nurses, 14 non-union, and one safety.

“We work with unions to make sure you are informed,” stated Brown, referring to employees. “Individuals had considerations. Our purpose is to ensure staffs are secure. Our purpose was not for anyone to lose their jobs.

“We have vaccination pods across campus,” she added. “We have vaccination pods that operate on weekends.”

Brown stated when employees on Depart of Absence return to work, they “will have to be vaccinated and given two weeks” to take action.

“If they come back to work, they are expected to be vaccinated,” she burdened, stating that, in the event that they refuse, the establishment could have no selection however to allow them to go.

Brown stated OBHS allowed employees with spiritual exceptions to stay on the job pending the end result of court docket instances.

However she stated employees with spiritual and medical exemptions have to be examined as soon as per week.

“The entire purpose is to ensure that people working are safe,” stated Brown, including that, “at the same time, for people in the general community, there’s a moral obligation for health care providers to be vaccinated.”

After the State issued the mandate for well being care suppliers to be vaccinated, Brown stated there was “a big uptake of workers who agreed to be vaccinated.

“So, clearly, the mandate works,” she stated. “COVID-19 has been so politicized; and there’s so much misinformation out there, despite the science (in favor of vaccination). So, I’m heartened that so many of our staff agreed to be vaccinated.”

For employees but to be vaccinated,” Brown stated: “I hope they, in the spirit of being accountable well being care professionals, take the vaccine.

“People have very strong feelings about the vaccines,” she added. “Our physicians have, encouragingly, been vaccinated.

“I’m optimistic that more and more people will be vaccinated,” Brown, nevertheless, continued. “We still have to wear masks.”

She stated OBHS continues to be gathering knowledge on vaccination however not on race, ethnicity or nationality.

Subsequently, she stated she was unable to disclose what number of Caribbean nationals have been vaccinated, exempted, on depart of absence, or refused to take the vaccine and have been, consequently, terminated.

The chief govt supply, nevertheless, stated {that a} “significant number” of employees are Caribbean nationals, and that OBHS serves the Caribbean neighborhood, amongst others, in Brooklyn.

“I want to underscore how much we value our staff and how much we want them to be safe,” she stated. “And we need to proceed to press the significance of being vaccinated.

“We want to work with every single employee to come back to work,” Brown added.

With greater than 4,000 employees at SUNY Downstate Hospital, Skeete-Walker stated, as of Nov. 3, there was a 96.62 p.c compliance charge with the State mandate for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

“To date, no one has been terminated,” she stated, including, nevertheless, that “non-compliant individuals are on Leaves of Absence without pay.”

She disclosed that, presently, there are 140 non-compliant employees.

However Skeete-Walker cautioned that the numbers are “fluid” and can, due to this fact, “change as more employees come into compliance and return to work.”

She stated staffers, who didn’t meet the necessities of the vaccine mandate, work in a wide range of roles and serve in totally different capacities.

The vp additionally stated that the establishment didn’t ask the employees why they refused to take the vaccine.

As well as, she stated the hospital doesn’t keep knowledge about employees’ nation of origin, for individuals who should not residents, resembling these from the Caribbean or have Caribbean background.

“Any such information submitted by an employee is voluntary,” Skeete-Walker stated.

In an e mail assertion to Caribbean Life, Dr. Wayne J. Riley, president, SUNY Downstate Well being Sciences College, stated the establishment “totally helps the State’s vaccination mandate measure and is ready to implement the requirement for our college students and employees.

“We are in the business of health professions education and patient care,” he stated. “As such, we can not and won’t danger the lives of these in our cherished neighborhood due to refusals to get vaccinated.

“The science is clear and irrefutable,” Dr. Riley emphasised. “COVID vaccines save lives and protect us all.”

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