Nearly 40 workers at Eskenazi Health parent leave over vaccine mandate

Thirty-nine employees of Health and Hospital Corp. of Marion County, the organization that includes Eskenazi Health and the Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, have chosen not to get the COVID-19 vaccination and departed.

That represents less than 1% of HHC’s total workforce of about 5,700, Eskenazi Health spokesman Todd Harper said Thursday.

The group included 29 employees at Eskenazi Health, which operates Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, founded as Indianapolis City Hospital in 1859 in response to a smallpox epidemic in the city.

“We had employees from various areas within the system and some included patient care areas,” Harper wrote in an email to IBJ.

It also includes six workers at Indianapolis EMS, which operates the city’s largest ambulance service, and four workers at the county health department.

The employees who chose not to receive the vaccine were placed on leave after Sept. 20 and then separation occurred around Sept. 24, he said. HHC announced in July its decision to require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees.

Harper did not say whether the employees were fired or resigned.

“Ensuring that all staff and providers are vaccinated is a critical step toward protecting the safety of our workforce, our patients and our community,” HHC said in a statement. “HHC continues to urge everyone in our community to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.”

It’s the latest health organization to report employee departures over the vaccination mandate.

Indiana University Health, the state’s largest hospital system, said on Sept. 16 that it had parted ways with 125 employees who have chosen not to get the COVID-19 vaccine as required. That represents less than 1% of the system’s workforce of about 36,000.

Community Health Network said last week that less than half of 1% of the workforce of 16,000, or fewer than 80 workers, refused to get vaccinated and have left the system after the Aug. 31 deadline.

Franciscan Health, one of the largest Catholic-based hospital systems in the Midwest, said last week that its employs 19,000 people in Indiana and Illinois, including about 4,000 in the Indianapolis area, must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15 or submit to weekly testing.

Employees who work remotely and never go into a Franciscan facility will not be required to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. But all others will required.

Ascension St. Vincent has given its estimated 14,700 workers in Indiana until Nov. 12 to get vaccinated.

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One thought on “Nearly 40 workers at Eskenazi Health parent leave over vaccine mandate

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