Centura Health offers employees $500 bonuses for getting vaccinated

Centura Health in Centennial, Colo., said June 30 that it will provide employees up to the director level, as well as employed providers, a $500 appreciation bonus if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 13.

The health system, which has 21,000 employees across Colorado and western Kansas, will pay the bonuses in mid-July to those who are already fully inoculated. Centura will then pay a second installment to employees and providers who are not yet fully vaccinated, but become fully vaccinated, by the deadline.

"During the third surge in late 2020, we had more than 700 of our co-workers out of work with coronavirus. Today, we have 40 caregivers who have a high-risk exposure or who have tested positive for the virus (all not vaccinated)," Centura Health President and CEO Peter Banko said in a news release. "More than 100 of our co-workers have been hospitalized with the virus, some still experience lasting effects on their health and well-being from COVID-19, and three of our caregivers have passed away from community-acquired COVID-19 (one after vaccines were widely available). We owe it to our caregivers to ensure their continued health, safety and well-being."

According to the health system, about 70 percent of its caregivers had received the vaccine as of June 30, with the highest vaccination rates among physicians, advanced practice providers, registered nurses and leadership. Like other health systems and communities, Centura reported seeing lower vaccination rates related to younger age, less education and in communities of color.

Through a $7 million investment for the bonuses, the health system aims to boost that vaccination rate. 

"If we protect just one more co-worker from the virus and its impact, it will be the best investment we have ever made," said Mr. Banko.

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