UPMC physician joins 11 other CMOs in mandate pledge

A dozen physician leaders representing hospitals and health systems in southwestern Pennsylvania have pledged to comply with rules requiring employees at CMS-participating healthcare facilities to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, TribLIVE reported Nov. 11.

"Collectively, we and our organizations will comply with this new CMS rule," the physician leaders wrote in a Nov. 8 letter shared with Becker's Hospital Review. "We know the vaccines are safe and effective, and we know that widespread vaccination is one key step in controlling this pandemic. Our healthcare teams serve all in need, and a broader vaccination uptake will help them and those they care for by limiting the harm from this illness. We want all in our communities to be safer and healthier."

The pledge — part of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Regional Chief Medical Officer Consortium — was signed by CMOs from:

  • UPMC (Pittsburgh)
  • Allegheny Health Network (Pittsburgh)
  • Excela Health System (Greensburg, Pa.) 
  • Butler (Pa.) Health System
  • Heritage Valley Health System (Beaver, Pa.)
  • St. Clair Health (Pittsburgh)
  • Washington (Pa.) Health System
  • Pittsburgh VA Health System
  • Conemaugh Health System (Johnstown, Pa.)
  • Penn Highlands Healthcare (DuBois, Pa.)
  • Indiana (Pa.) Regional Medical Center
  • Armstrong County Memorial Hospital (Kittanning, Pa.)

In their letter, the CMOs also noted the FDA's authorization of COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 and encouraged vaccination of eligible children.

CMS issued its Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule on Nov. 4.

Some providers in southwestern Pennsylvania issued their own mandates prior to the CMS rule, according to TribLIVE.

Read the full report here.

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