North Country Healthcare (NCH), a non-profit affiliation of four medical facilities in the White Mountains Region, is requiring a COVID-19 vaccination for its employees.
In a statement, NCH says it recognizes the sensitivity of individual choice regarding vaccination, but remains steadfast in its commitment to ensure that those being cared for in our facilities and homes are protected, as best able, from COVID-19. As such, we will continue to require that our providers, staff, vendors, and volunteers receive complete COVID-19 vaccination by Friday, October 22, which represents 60 days following the date of full Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Legitimate medical or religious exemption/accommodations will be granted to providers and employees.
“I appreciate our team members’ desires to make the decision that is right for them, individually,” commented Tom Mee, RN, BSN, MBA, Chief Executive Officer, North Country Healthcare. “However, NCH will not be deterred in achieving the greater good – the health and wellbeing of our community members. As the dominant healthcare provider in the North Country, we felt, and continue to feel, that it is in the best interest of our patients, providers, and staff to enact this vaccination requirement.”
“Although our low density of residents in the North Country has provided us shelter from significantly high numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we recognize that the Delta Variant poses a threat to the health and wellbeing of everyone, especially those who remain unvaccinated,” commented Ed Laverty, PA-C, NCH Incident Command Chairperson. “We ask everyone to follow the CDC’s recommendations including receiving the vaccine, wearing facemasks, and social distancing.”
“The NCH Board of Directors unanimously supports this critical vaccine mandate,” commented Jim Hamblin, Board Chairperson. “The proven effectiveness of the vaccine, in reducing community transmission, is well documented. We will continue to ensure that our healthcare facilities have the resources and support to serve the residents of, and visitors to, the North Country.”
To date, more than 130 healthcare systems nationwide have required their employees to have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccinations are available throughout the North Country. For a list of locations and additional information, please visit northcountryhealth.org/SleeveUpNH
For more information about NCH, please call (603) 389-2205 or visit www.northcountryhealth.org.