Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, Mercy Health and IHA included in decision
LIVONIA, MICH., July 8, 2021 – Trinity Health today announced effective immediately, the national health system will require all colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities be vaccinated against COVID-19. The requirement applies to Trinity Health’s more than 117,000 employees in 22 states nationwide in an effort to stop the spread of the virus and keep all patients, colleagues, and the broader communities safe.
This includes roughly 24,000 Trinity Health Michigan colleagues working across five Saint Joseph Mercy Health System hospitals, three Mercy Health hospitals, and two employed medical groups — IHA and Mercy Health Physician Partners.
Since December 2020, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first vaccine for Emergency Use Authorization, Trinity Health has strongly encouraged vaccination for all colleagues and within the communities its various Health Ministries serve. To date, the health system estimates that nearly 75% of Trinity Health employees have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, and it now looks to close the gap with this new requirement.
“As a faith-based health care system we have pledged to protect the most vulnerable, those that have a high risk of developing severe health complications if they were to contract this deadly virus,” said Rob Casalou, president and CEO of Trinity Health Michigan and Southeast Regions. “We are grateful to all colleagues working inside our hospitals, and specifically those navigating the frontlines. We understand that not everyone will agree with this decision, but after listening to their feedback, and after careful consideration, we know this to be the right decision.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 331 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the United States. The vaccines have proven to be safe and effective against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and death, with more than 99% of COVID-19 deaths today occurring in unvaccinated people.
“As a trusted health care leader within Michigan communities, our patients and colleagues look to us to keep them safe,” said Rosalie Tocco-Bradley, PhD, MD, chief clinical officer of Trinity Health Michigan. “There is widespread acceptance of the vaccines and their effectiveness within the medical community. The science is clear – vaccines protect against infection and they help save lives.”
Employees at Trinity Health and its Health Ministries must meet a series of rolling deadlines, with most locations requiring them to submit proof of vaccination by Sept. 21, 2021. It has not yet been determined if a COVID-19 vaccine booster will be required annually, but if so, employees will also need to submit proof of the booster as needed. Exemptions are available for religious or health reasons and must be formally requested, documented, and approved. Employees who do not meet criteria for exemption and fail to show proof of vaccination will have their employment terminated.