Vaccination-related employee departures at 49 hospitals, health systems

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Amid health system and state COVID-19 vaccination requirements, workers have been fired for noncompliance, and some have resigned or quit. 

Here are stats from 49 organizations, announced since June:

Note: This list was updated Dec. 6. It is not exhaustive.  

1. UMass Memorial Health has fired 200 employees who refused to get vaccinated and did not receive an exemption, the Worcester, Mass.-based health system confirmed to Becker's. Staff had until Nov. 1 to comply with the organization's deadline.

2. New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health fired 216 medical workers for refusing to comply with the organization's mandate, according to The Herald News. Southcoast Health spokesperson Katie Cox told the newspaper another 102 hospital staff members were placed on unpaid leave in November but returned to work after showing proof of receiving their first dose.

3. New Orleans-based Ochsner Health has fired 280 employees who refused to get vaccinated and did not have an approved exemption, according to nola.com. This includes contract employees and represents about 1 percent of the health system's 30,000 employees.

4. Shriners Children's in Shreveport, La., fired more than a dozen employees who refused to get vaccinated, according to ABC affiliate KTBS. The news station reported that the workers also had applied for exemptions but were not approved. The workers who were fired represent less than 5 percent of the hospital's workforce.

5. On Dec. 1, WakeMed confirmed a 99.7 percent compliance rate for its mandatory COVID-19 policy. The Raleigh, N.C.-based health system said 35 staff members not in compliance with the policy — a majority being supplemental workers — will be terminated. This represents a small portion of WakeMed's more than 10,000 employees.

6. Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., fired or suspended without pay another 81 employees, 39 of them nurses, for noncompliance with the New York state vaccination mandate, the organization confirmed to Becker's. The hospital suspended or fired 113 employees for refusing to get vaccinated in September, and the latest job cuts affected employees who had temporary religious exemptions to the state mandate that were rescinded in November, according to syracuse.com.

7. Several employees at Saranac Lake, N.Y.-based Adirondack Health resigned over the state's vaccination mandate, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise. Matt Scollin, a spokesperson for the organization, told the newspaper that 18 Adirondack Health employees who had temporary religious exemptions to the state mandate had not been vaccinated as of Nov. 19. A majority of these employees resigned over the weekend of Nov. 19, and a few decided to get their first dose before the state's Nov. 22 deadline for religious exemptions, according to Mr. Scollin.

8. Sixty-four employees at Springfield, Mo.-based CoxHealth refused to comply with the health system's vaccination policy and were discharged, CEO Steve Edwards announced on Twitter Nov. 23. This represents 0.51 percent of CoxHealth's 12,500 employees.

9. As of Nov. 22, Cleveland-based MetroHealth had terminated or dismissed four employees for refusing to comply with the health system's vaccination policy, according to president and CEO Akram Boutros, MD. Thirteen employees had decided to retire or leave the organization as of that date. Of the 13, nine were going to retire within six months and accelerated their retirement.

10. Seven employees of Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health were suspended and/or terminated for refusing to get vaccinated, according to the health system. As of Nov. 23, about 7,300 employees were fully vaccinated and about 130 were in the process of becoming fully vaccinated. 

11. Crouse Health terminated 45 employees because of the state vaccination mandate, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based health system confirmed to Becker's. The employees are eligible for rehire if they choose to get vaccinated.

12. Centra Health in Lynchburg, Va., fired five employees because they refused to comply with the hospital's vaccination mandate, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker's. There were also 31 voluntary resignations over the mandate.

13. Riverside Healthcare in Kankakee, Ill., terminated 40 employees who refused to comply with its vaccination requirement, the Daily Journal reported Nov. 16. The employees were fired after failing to comply following a two-week suspension.

14. Less than 1 percent of staff at Topeka, Kan.-based Stormont Vail Health voluntarily left their jobs since September because of a vaccination requirement, spokesperson MollyPatt Horan told The Topeka Capital-Journal. No employees have been fired from the health system.

15. Arkansas Valley Regional Medical Center in La Junta, Colo., terminated four employees because of their refusal to comply with a policy requiring regular COVID-19 testing or vaccination, a hospital spokesperson confirmed to Becker's. The spokesperson, Janice Leija, said the employees had filed exemptions, but refused to test as required.

16. Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo., terminated 56 employees for not abiding by the state's COVID-19 vaccine requirements for healthcare workers, a spokesperson said, according to ABC affiliate KRDO. The medical center has about 3,000 employees.

17. Since the announcement of the health system's vaccination requirement in August, less than 1 percent of CHI Memorial employees have departed the Chattanooga,Tenn.- based organization because they declined to get vaccinated against COVID-19, spokesperson Karen Long confirmed to Becker's. The health system has more than 4,400 employees, according to its website

18. Three Rivers Hospital Business Development Coordinator Jennifer Best told KIRO Radio that the Brewster, Wash.-based hospital had to let six people go out of 129 staff members because of the state's vaccination mandate. Ms. Best said in the radio interview that the staff members who were let go were not full-time employees.

19. Marlton, N.J.-based Virtua Health lost about 120 employees because of the five-hospital system's vaccination policy, according to NJ.com. The workers resigned because of the policy or were terminated for noncompliance.

20. Advocate Aurora Health, which has dual headquarters in Downers Grove, Ill., and Milwaukee, reported that about 440 workers (out of the system's 75,000 employees) "have parted ways" with the system because they were unvaccinated by Advocate's Oct. 15 deadline and did not have approved exemptions, according to the Chicago Tribune.

21. Carbondale-based Southern Illinois Healthcare said about 220 people are no longer employed because they did not get vaccinated, according to the Chicago Tribune, although most employees did.

22. Ninety-four employees at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health lost their jobs Oct. 18 because they failed to meet the system's COVID-19 vaccination requirement, according to the New Haven Register.

23. Officials with Springfield, Mass.-based Baystate Health said 145 unvaccinated workers were placed on unpaid leave pending the Oct. 15 final deadline to get vaccinated or be fired, according to The Boston Globe. In the end, Baystate Health said it fired 90 workers, including 52 per diem employees, who remained unvaccinated Oct. 15, the newspaper reported.

24. Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown, N.Y., fired 28 employees because of vaccination mandate noncompliance, according to NNY360

25. Eighty-four employees had resigned from Lewiston-based Central Maine Healthcare as of Oct. 11 because of a state vaccination mandate, according to system spokesperson Ann Kim. More than 250 employees had no COVID-19 vaccination record with the system and 170 of them are in direct patient care roles at Central Maine Medical Center.

26. Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph's Health fired 78 workers for refusing to get vaccinated, according to syracuse.com. The terminated employees refused to get vaccinated by the state's Sept. 27 mandate deadline and remained unvaccinated after a suspension period. 

27. About 400 employees unvaccinated against COVID-19 have quit their jobs at Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System, the Detroit Free PressBridge Michigan and Michigan Radio reported Oct. 5. The employees who left their jobs represent about 1 percent of Henry Ford's 33,000-person workforce. 

28. Aurora, Colo.-based UCHealth fired more than 100 workers — including 54 in the Denver metropolitan area — who refused to get vaccinated, officials said Oct. 4, according to the Denver Post. System spokesperson Dan Weaver told the newspaper 119 — or less than 0.5 percent of the system's 26,500 employees statewide — did not get vaccinated or receive an exemption by the Oct. 1 mandate deadline.

29. A total of 1,400 employees of New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health either resigned or were terminated for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a spokesperson confirmed to Becker's Oct. 4. The departures represent less than 2 percent of Northwell's workforce.

30. Falls Church-based Inova Health System lost 89 workers for noncompliance with the system's Sept. 1 vaccine requirement, J. Stephen Jones, president and CEO of the system, told The Washington Post. This represents less than half of 1 percent of its 20,000-person workforce.

31. Seventy-two employees were terminated from Winchester-based Valley Health on Sept. 21, for noncompliance with the Sept. 7 vaccine requirement, health system officials told The Washington Post. About 300 of the system's 6,000 workers received a religious or medical exemption, officials said.

32. Thirty-eight unvaccinated employees at San Diego-based Scripps Health will be terminated through their voluntary resignation, based on failure to comply with California's mandate, according to Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. He told Becker's Scripps will rehire these workers at their full status and seniority if they become vaccination-compliant by Nov. 1.

33. St. Luke's University Health Network, a Bethlehem, Pa.-based system with 17,000 employees, said Sept. 28 that 68 full-time employees and 87 part-time/per diem employees refused to become vaccinated by the organization's Sept. 25 deadline and resigned.

34. Newark, Del.-based ChristianaCare fired about 150 employees, or the equivalent of fewer than 90 full-time employees, for not complying with its vaccination policy, Janice Nevin, MD, president and CEO, wrote in a blog post Sept. 27.

35. Fewer than 250 of New York City-based NewYork-Presbyterian's 48,000 team members failed to comply with the system's mandate and no longer work at the system as of Sept. 23, according to system spokesperson Alexandra Langan.

36. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Novant Health fired about 175 employees for not complying with the system's COVID-19 vaccination program after an unpaid five-day suspension.

37. As of Sept. 23, 66 employees had left Brewer-based Northern Light Health because of the vaccination requirement, according to system spokesperson Karen Cashman. 

38. As of Sept. 23, 58 of Portland-based MaineHealth's 23,000 staff members had resigned and cited the vaccination requirement as among the reasons for their decision, system spokesperson Caroline Cornish told Becker's

39. Seventy-two unvaccinated workers were terminated from Winchester, Va.-based Valley Health.

40. About 60 employees resigned from their jobs at UNC Health, citing the Chapel Hill, N.C.-based system's vaccination requirement, system spokesperson Alan Wolf confirmed to Becker's Sept. 21. 

41. By Sept. 15, the vaccination requirement deadline, Morehead, Ky.-based St. Claire HealthCare had fired 23 employees for noncompliance, hospital spokesperson Amy Riddle confirmed to Becker's.  

42. Med Center Health in Bowling Green, Ky., said 180 staff members were terminated because of its vaccination requirement.

43. After a two-week unpaid suspension ending Sept. 14, 125 employees at IU Health left the Indianapolis-based organization after refusing to be vaccinated.

44. Eleven Olean (N.Y.) General Hospital workers resigned because of the state's vaccination mandate, which requires healthcare workers at hospitals and nursing homes to receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27. 

45. Lewis County Health System, a single-hospital system in Lowville, N.Y., said it would temporarily close its maternity unit after 30 staff resigned over the state's vaccination mandate.

46. Tidelands Health fired one of its employees for not complying with the Georgetown, S.C.-based system's vaccination mandate.

47. Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina Health fired five of its employees for not complying with its vaccination mandate.

48. West Orange, N.J.-based RWJBarnabas Health fired six workers for not complying with its vaccination mandate. 

49. At Houston Methodist, 153 employees either resigned during a two-week suspension period or were terminated for noncompliance with its vaccination mandate.

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