(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Bartlett Regional Hospital to mandate vaccination for employees

Board of directors votes unanimously.

  • Juneau Empire
  • Wednesday, August 25, 2021 6:44pm
  • News

Bartlett Regional Hospital will require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, the hospital announced in a news release.

The policy follows a unanimous vote on Tuesday by the Bartlett Regional Hospital Board of Directors.

“Community-wide vaccination is the primary option to slow, and hopefully stop, spread of this particularly contagious variant,” said Board Vice President Rosemary Hagevig in a news release.

The resolution OK’d by the board directs hospital CEO Rose Lawhorne to develop and implement a vaccine mandate that will extend to medical staff who work in the hospital.

“Although we respect the personal choices of our employees, it is our strong belief that the safety afforded by vaccination requires a vaccine mandate,” said Board member and emergency department medical director Dr. Lindy Jones in the release.

Vaccination mandates have become more common nationally following the federal Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine. However, they have drawn criticism from some who feel vaccination should not be a condition of employment.

“We understand the concerns around such a mandate,” Lawhorne said in the release. “but as the local leader in health care, this step communicates our commitment to our community to follow best practice and do everything we can to protect ourselves and our patients.”

The policy will be developed in collaboration with City and Borough of Juneau Law Department and union leaders, according to the hospital.

City and Borough of Juneau reported 45 new COVID-19 cases, 33 among residents and 12 among nonresidents, on Wednesday. Statewide, 620 new cases, 573 among residents and 47 among nonresidents.

The state also reported 11 deaths on Wednesday. It was the second day in the row the state reported double-digit deaths.

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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