FirstHealth of the Carolinas will require all employees, medical staff, volunteers, students, agency staff and vendors to receive COVID-19 vaccines by Nov. 19, 2021.
Chief Executive Officer Mickey Foster said the requirement is in the best interest of FirstHealth’s staff and demonstrates the system’s commitment to its core purpose: To Care for People.
“We are committed to the health and safety of our FirstHealth family and the communities we serve. Requiring COVID-19 vaccines is the right decision for our system, but it’s not one we take lightly,” he said.
“We have offered vaccine incentives to our employees for several weeks and waited until at least one vaccine was fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We were also able to hear directly from our employees through a systemwide survey and series of employee focus groups held across the FirstHealth system. We know this is the right decision for FirstHealth, and we want to do everything we can to bring this terrible pandemic to an end.”
Jennifer Bruno, M.D., FirstHealth’s Chief Medical Officer, said the data on vaccine effectiveness is clear.
“We know that the available COVID-19 vaccines prevent the most serious outcomes from this virus, and we have several months of patient data to back this up,” she said. “We hope this decision to require vaccines for the FirstHealth family will also spur others in our community to roll up their sleeves and get their shots. It takes all of us working together to return to normal.”
Feature photo: Lauren McDaniel, R.N., was one of several frontline health care workers to be vaccinated in Dec. 2020.