Updated August 11, 2021 at 1:30 PM
As you may have heard, we are anticipating further communication from area health systems tomorrow regarding a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all healthcare employees. Ahead of this, we wanted to proactively reach out with how we will be handling the situation at OrthoNebraska.
First and foremost, we believe in the science, safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. Time has shown us that the vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death related to COVID-19. All three of the vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been thoroughly tested and continue to undergo close safety monitoring. Throughout the pandemic OrthoNebraska has remained focused on providing timely, transparent and thorough education that empowers all team members to make informed decisions. Here at OrthoNebraska, roughly 85% of our 640+ team members have been fully vaccinated – much higher than many fellow healthcare organizations both locally and nationally.
Secondly, as healthcare providers, we believe that making informed decisions based on science is critical and consistent with how we advise our patients. By choosing a career in healthcare, our team members have made a personal and professional decision to focus on the health and wellbeing of our community. As we’ve done in years past with the flu vaccine, we strongly encourage team members to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and will follow strict universal protocols for those who choose not to receive the vaccine.
We recognize the decision to remain unvaccinated can be for varying reasons; however, we have and will continue to make clear the potential consequences of that decision including additional precautions and protocols for those who are not fully vaccinated. While OrthoNebraska will not be mandating the COVID-19 vaccination at this time, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and the need to enforce stricter COVID-19 policy and precautions specifically for those who are unvaccinated. Further communication will be sent out by the end of the week to those individuals who may be impacted.
If you have not yet been fully vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to ask questions to address your concerns. If you would like to receive the vaccine, please contact employee health (Catherine.Ertzner@OrthoNebraska.com | ext. 1384) for next steps.
Lastly, as a reminder, we will be holding a virtual team forum THIS FRIDAY (August 13) at 9:00AM to discuss this topic and others related to COVID-19. To view the forum on Friday at 9:00AM, CLICK HERE. If you have any questions, please feel free to send them in advance to OrthoNebraska.
Nicholas Bruggeman, MD
Chief Medical Officer