Fort Wayne hospitals to require vaccinations for employees to comply with federal mandate

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Fort Wayne hospital employees will soon be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued an emergency regulation that calls for “all eligible staff” at some 76,000 healthcare facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid across the country to have at least 1 dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 6, and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4.

Now, that plan is being put into place across Fort Wayne’s hospitals.

Parkview Health spokeswoman Tami Brigle told WANE 15: “This is true, based on the new federal mandate issued by the Biden Administration.” She said Parkview was currently developing a plan for implementing the requirement at its facilities.

When we asked for an interview, Brigle said: “Our team remains focused on finalizing our plans for implementation of the federal mandate. We don’t have any more information to provide at this time.”

Lutheran Health Network issued this statement:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an emergency regulation for healthcare facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid programs on Nov. 5 requiring vaccinations to protect healthcare workers, patients, families and visitors from COVID-19. As a Medicare and Medicaid-certified provider, our hospitals are required to abide by this mandate to continue to participate in those programs. This mandate requires all facilities covered by this regulation to ensure team members, including medical staff members, start the COVID-19 vaccine series by Dec. 5 and be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022 or have an approved religious or medical exemption.
We stand firm in our commitment to maintain a safe environment for our patients and caregivers. The majority of our caregivers already have chosen to be vaccinated and more are making that choice now. We appreciate the cooperation of our team during what has been a challenging time for everyone in healthcare.

WANE 15 acquired a letter to hospital employees from Dupont Hospital CEO Mark Dooley that details that hospital’s vaccine mandate. It says the hospital is “required to abide by this mandate” and “non-compliance is not a viable option.”

Lutheran also declined an interview request. We were told to reach out to the Indiana Hospital Association for more information.

Hospital employees can request exemptions.

Whether the mandate will take effect, though, remains to be seen.

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has filed a lawsuit aimed at halting the executive order to require COVID-19 vaccinations for certain health care workers. The lawsuit was filed along with 12 other state attorneys general.

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