IU Health suspends hundreds of unvaccinated workers, postpones all inpatient elective surgeries

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Editor’s note: This story originally said IU Health had suspended more than 1,000 employees. The hospital system later issued a revised figure, saying that fewer than 300 employees were suspended.

Hundreds of Indiana University Health did not meet Wednesday’s deadline to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and will be suspended immediately, the hospital system confirmed Thursday.

IU Health separately said it would temporarily suspend 100% of inpatient elective surgeries and procedures beginning Monday to relieve pressure on care teams and free up space for critically ill patients. The health system said last week it would suspend 50% of elective surgeries and procedures.

IU Health originally said Thursday that about 97% of the system’s approximately 36,000 employees have complied with the vaccination requirement, which was announced in June. But that means that more than 1,000 have not been vaccinated.

The health system later issued a correction, saying that the 97% compliance figure was an estimate from Wednesday, and the compliance figure is now higher, but it did not provide a new percentage.

“As of today, fewer than 300 team members have been suspended,” the hospital system said in the updated statement Thursday afternoon.

IU Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said unvaccinated workers will be placed on a two-week suspension and will be allowed to return to work if they attest to partial or full vaccination.

“Vaccinating team members is a safe and effective way to protect patients and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in facilities and in the community,” spokesman Jeff Swiatek told IBJ in an email.

He did not have a figure for how many unvaccinated workers were directly involved in patient care.

IU Health operates the state’s largest hospital, Methodist Hospital, along with 15 others, including IU Health North in Carmel, IU Health Saxony in Fishers and University Hospital on the IUPUI campus.

Another hospital system, Franciscan Health, had also given employees a deadline this week to submit proof of vaccination status. But a hospital spokesman said he didn’t have a figure on the number of workers that were vaccinated by Tuesday’s deadline. The organization employs about 4,100 people in central Indiana, most of them at its largest hospital, Franciscan Health Indianapolis.

Three other hospital systems also have given employees a deadline to get vaccinated: Community Health Network by Sept. 15, Eskenazi Health by Sept. 20 and Ascension St. Vincent by Nov. 12.

Around the United States, more than 150 hospital systems have issued vaccination mandates to employees. Hospitals have borne the brunt of the surge in COVID-19 cases, and many have also reported a growing shortage of nurses and other patient-care workers who have resigned or taken administrative roles.

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39 thoughts on “IU Health suspends hundreds of unvaccinated workers, postpones all inpatient elective surgeries

  1. I wish I had made some bets when reading comments last week about how IU would never suspend or fire workers because they need them too badly.

    What IU needs so badly is their employees and patients to be safe and not endanger others with reckless behavior.

    No one should have the “the freedom” to wreck American public health. Good for IU.

  2. Dan Dan Dan
    Go live in Afghanistan ! Do you have a totalitarian thinking my friend.

    Why do liberals not stand with my body my choice? But killing a baby not a public safety threat.

  3. It wasn’t safe to work through last year’s surges, but dedicated professionals did so anyway because there was no alternative. But now there are safe and effective vaccines available so that none needs put herself or others at risk. IU Health is doing the right, just, ethical, and smart thing.

    To be clear, IU Health is not IU. They are cousins.

  4. Everybody gets what they want in this situation. IU Health gets to decide the rules for their business, and the workers get to decide about their own body. What’s to complain about?

    1. Agree with you on this Ed. The company can make it’s own rules and you can decide where you want to work.

  5. Scott, please consider using a different word the next time you post a comment. I think don’t folks with an Intellectual Disability would appreciate you using this outdated term as an insult.

  6. Your use of the R word should be more concerning.

    PS – they weren’t safe enough to work last year, but there was no vaccination. If you recall, kids never sat in car seats or used used seatbelts and most survived. We are smarter now and have better safety options.

  7. I’m curious as to why everyone thinks that everyone that works in a hospital is a doctor or nurse. Receptionists, food workers, janitorial, security, etc etc etc are part of the number. The cancellation of elective procedures has nothing to do with these 1000 employees being suspended. Divide these up over the dozens of IU Health facilities acorns the state and its a super small number per facility.

    1. The article clearly states the 2 are completely unrelated, but I would be interested in a breakdown by job category, of the 1000 that declined. Would bet it is skewed to the lower end.

  8. Good for IU Health. It will be interesting to see how many of the 1000 leave their job/get vaccinated. These are difficult decisions for everyone. There are no right or wrong answers. A job with a company is not a right but a privilege. If you don’t want to follow the rules it’s your right but your job won’t be.

  9. The only ones singing the gloom and doom are those private nongovernmental agencies such as the CDC and others that have something to financially or politically gain off COVID-19.

    Don’t forget Fauci is a perjurer and has been substantiated in criminal involvement with financing China’s Wuhan Lab that made COVID-19. Look at his flip flopping history that has followed the political winds and not medical science.

    Do the research! The government’s political doctors (take the jab) and forget treatments or anything else like all the other viruses still with us today are just giving us lip service.

    The real medical doctors and scientists on the frontlines that have nothing to financially or politically to gain, that Big Tech censors as “misinformation” are the one showing the actual lab work, studies, and data, and raw actual statistics that the political doctors can’t or won’t produce.

    They have proven treatment over vaccines are a more healthy way to go. Remember hydroxichloriquin that was proven an effective life saving treatment? The government lied and denied the public that as to let thousands suffer and or perish waiting on the vaccines saying it was “dangerous” although it’s been cost effectively taken for decades. Now studies have substantiated it once again is safe and effective and the government and CDC is being sued by the real doctors they slandered over it.

    How do you like putting stuff in your body that your elected leaders that aren’t vaccinated are forcing upon you releasing the manufacturer’s of liability and prosecution if their concoctions injure or kill you???

    I know a few parents whose kids are maimed, injured, and died of heart inflammation and other cardiac duress aren’t handling that kick in the gut very well.

    Recent studies out of Israel, Harvard, John Hopkins, and other research hospitals are increasingly revealing the “jab” is more detrimental to one’s health with the actual poisons ingredients and fetal tissue etc. than the virus itself that has an over 97% survival rate. Why are we vaccinating that?

    The U.S. Army admitted late last week more soldiers have died from the jab than from the virus.

    Studies are showing the spike proteins are landing in organs causing medical complications, heart inflammation from the other poisonous ingredients etc.

    Studies have proven that as the vaccinated are now shedding the virus, they are more the ones testing positive and symptomatic than the unvaccinated and several times more contagious. There’s your answer to the push for booster shots studies that scientists say one make anymore difference to the vaccinated except for endangering their lives with more spike proteins.

    Natural immunities have proven 13 times more effective and lasting than vaccines.

    Why are other country’s scientists and health experts pulling these experimental “vaccines” that aren’t vaccines off the shelves for all their dangers and the USA is not?

    Don’t you see more the political force surrounding these vaccines than the medical? Take it or lose your freedoms and your job??? That’s Marxist Communism!!!

    Just yesterday, a study out of the University of Louisville substantiated the mask wearing made no difference in stopping the outbreak of COVID but nonetheless contributed to a wealth of other health issues.

    If you watch just the mainstream media on tv to get your information, you’re just getting a sinister government’s propaganda only full of fear, extortion, and coercion, to do things to your body you’re not sure or secure about in your own heart of hearts as to remain a free person in our society.

    They already have 2 more variants scheduled to cast upon the public this fall.

    Can you say bioweapon brought to you by traitors in Congress and the CCP?

    Go to online medias such as GAB,Telegram, Odessy, *Rumble, and others that Big Tech and our government (Biden Regime and Cabal) are mocking and trying to shut down where real doctors, specialists, experts, and scientists have gone to the show evidence of real scientific research and to educate the public of the truth that our Socialist Marxist Communist Democrat Globalist government doesn’t want us to know.

    Stop being cowardly sheep extorted, intimidated, coerced, to your own death and destruction.

    Do you think they care about your life?

    Just look at Afghanistan. 10,000 plus souls left to perish by evil savages.

    1. Darrell, Yes IU has something to gain. Employees that are not out sick or dying keep them in business and Patients that don’t sue when they got sick because they were infected by reckless employees.

      (sarcarm) So yeah… It is just a big conspiracy and ALL of the news papers and local news stations are just keeping it quiet to fool you. Luckily you have secret knowledge that you have dredged up from the most reliable source ever, THE INTERNET.

    2. IBJ… can you do something about this toxic mess of dangerous disinformation that is here on your site? Please? I tried to count how many falsehoods are included in this one post from Darrell, and ran out of fingers and toes. And these are not small misstatements but serious, dangerous, delusional fantasies. For example, it simply is NOT TRUE, all of these statements that more people have died from the vaccine than the virus, or that lots of children are dying from the vaccine, or that mask wearing is more dangerous than being infected, or that Congress and China conspired to inflict this bioweapon on the world.

      Seriously, IBJ, this is your platform and you have a responsibility to ensure that it’s not helping persuade people to make dangerous choices.

    3. I have edited Darrel W’s post by removing all of his false claims and half-truths. Here is the content that was factually correct:

    4. Very difficult to read such foolishness. It is perhaps more sad and dangerous for society at large that the writer may actually believe this alternate reality treasure trove of misinformation.

    5. “A study involving more than 340,000 people in Bangladesh offers some of the strongest real-world evidence yet that mask use can help communities slow the spread of Covid-19.”

      “For five months beginning last November, Mobarak and his colleagues tracked 342,126 adult Bangladeshis and randomly selected villages to roll out programs to promote their usage, which included distributing free masks to households, providing information about their importance and reinforcing their use in the community.”

      “Among the roughly 178,000 individuals who were encouraged to wear them, the scientists found that mask-wearing increased by almost 30 percent and that the change in behavior persisted for 10 weeks or more. After the program was instituted, the researchers reported an 11.9 percent decrease in symptomatic Covid symptoms and a 9.3 percent reduction in symptomatic seroprevalence, which indicates that the virus was detected in blood tests.”


  10. Using corporate entities and healthcare systems to leverage a government mandate without long term data is a major red flag and a slippery slope on personal/private health decisions.

    Interesting that Cleveland Clinic, UPMC, and others are not mandating a vaccine.

    Any adult “forcing” people of child bearing age or younger and especially children to get an inoculation without long term data is honestly abuse.

    Keeping the healthcare industry a prospective, peer reviewed, and accountable to long term data is as critical as the Hippocratic oath that they are sworn to hold dear.

    1. So the parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated, all those vaccines with long-term studies that say they’re OK… should those parents be locked up for child abuse?

      Should the state take away their kids for endangering their health by refusing vaccination and believing those anti-vax cranks?

      Or maybe we should have a new law that parents who refuse to get their kids vaccinated can be sued by private citizens, who are entitled to collect damages. I think that’s now constitutionally allowed…

      Just want you to be clear here.

    2. Honestly Steve K whether you agree or not with someone stating false information-this is the ‘Comment’ section. Any contentious issue that the IBJ covers typically has false information in the Comment Section. So, you now want to censor the Comment section? LOL

    3. Sorry Joe B. Want to make sure you get a clear response…as usual, you’ve perked up and are ready to fire a response whenever I post…

      To be crystal clear, I’m speaking of the 3 available COVID specific inoculations.

      Oh, and I’m such an “anti-vaxxxeeerrrrr” or whatever work adjective/noun is used to describe people that my children and my family have received vaccinations which all have long term data of safety and efficacy to support…pssst and those products’ manufacturers aren’t indemnified for those specifically.

      Anything else you care to go on the offensive about because my views don’t quite align with your “comply or die” attitude?

    4. Perked up is fun. I like that.

      It’s funny you picked comply or die. Because that is kind of settled law here in the United States. The government is well within their power to force vaccinations.

      But I find it funny that “long term data” is your hill. Because you know that the alternative to operating without long term data, for waiting multiple years, is a lot more deaths, several more mutations, and a lot more shutdowns in the interim. Is that what you’re advocating for, let’s shut down society, let’s shut down schools until we get long term safety data?

      Are we all operating at risk? Sure. But given the numbers in ICU’s these days, it sure feels like the risk is higher to NOT get vaccinated than to get vaccinated.

      I mean, I hope you don’t go comfort the parents of the 12-17 yo kids in the local pediatric ICU with “hey, at least you didn’t abuse them by making them get the shot. That was the right call.”

    5. By the way, how have you come to the conclusion that getting COVID and the unknown long-term side effects of being infected … are a better choice than the unknown long-term side effects of the COVID vaccine?

      What’s your data to support that position?

  11. Thank you IU Health for putting patient health and safety first. You’re putting employee health and safety first as well, even if some of them don’t agree.

  12. So I need to understand, the Indiana Hospitals believe that the human immunization system is only effective with the addition of an outside man made inoculation. It is obviously not a vaccine with the amount of people who have taken the “vaccine” and still got C-19. The “vaccine” is little more than the annual flu shot, except that it alters you RNA.

  13. Suspended? I have two openings in Fishers for in home care. You do not need to be vaccinated to apply. Elderly couple needs help with all aspects of living. This is a private situation for our parents.