Jewish HomeLife is Fully Vaccinated!
Leading The Way in Safety: Oct. 4 Mandate Recognized as Huge Success
[Nov. 5, 2021 – Atlanta, GA]
All staff in the Jewish HomeLife network is now vaccinated for COVID-19, surpassing local and national averages for senior care organizations. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the national average for nursing home staff vaccination was 70% by the end of October,
“We are so proud of our staff for following the science and taking the vaccine,” said Harley Tabak, President & CEO. “This is due in large part to the tireless efforts of our Executive Directors and our Quality Assurance Team to help educate and reassure those who were hesitant.“
In January 2021, Jewish HomeLife was one of the first healthcare organizations to announce a vaccine mandate. At the time, the deadline for all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was set for June 1. In May the organization postponed that deadline when the uncertainty of the vaccine was causing a lag in acceptance by the majority of its staff. At the time only about 60% of the staff had been vaccinated.
By the end of August, that percentage had grown to 91% and management felt the time was right to close the gap. In a letter to staff, residents and families, Tabak and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey A. Gopen announced that the organization would mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all staff at its nine senior care communities and in-home care service businesses as of Oct. 4.
Of the 650 employees across the system, only a handful either refused the vaccine and resigned, or had a documented medical or religious exemption. Any documented exemptions submitted by staff were verified by the Human Resources team before approval. Team members with approved religious or medical exemptions must undergo weekly testing and continue to wear appropriate PPE at all times.
Jewish HomeLife’s vaccine also mandate includes new hires, all private caregivers, contract staff, students, and volunteers working in its skilled nursing home and its two assisted living communities.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Jewish HomeLife has adhered to all state and federal guidelines, seeking input and guidance from our Medical Directors and infectious disease experts who are active in our organization,” said Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey A. Gopen. “We were early adopters of a mandate because we believe vaccination is a critical step in protecting those we serve and ensuring a safe work environment for our employees.”