St. Luke’s University Health Network announced that its 17,000 employees have complied with its previously announced Covid-19 vaccine mandate.
“St. Luke’s is grateful to its employees who are doing their part to end this Covid-19 pandemic,” said Evan Ochs, St. Luke’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “St. Luke’s is proud that its lofty vaccination rate places it among a handful of elite health care institutions worldwide.”
“Vaccination against various diseases has long been a pillar of public health practice in this country, as well as a condition of employment at St. Luke’s,” Ochs said. “Once again, St. Luke’s has proven that it is among the world’s most successful health networks when it comes to its safety and quality practices.”
St. Luke’s, an integrated network of 12 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, announced its vaccine mandate on August 9, requiring that all employees without exemptions or deferrals be vaccinated by September 25.
As of September 25, only 68 full time employees and 87 part time / per diem employees chose not to become vaccinated and resigned from St. Luke’s.
Forty-six employees received a medical exemption, 406 employees were granted a religious exemption, and 216 employees were granted a temporary deferral for pregnancy or a positive Covid-19 test within the last year. Those with exemptions or temporary deferrals will undergo weekly Covid-19 tests as a condition of continued employment.
Earlier this month, President Biden announced a Covid-19 vaccine mandate that will apply to tens of millions of Americans employed in both the public and private business sectors, including those in health care. St. Luke’s adoption of a mandate prior to the President’s announcement enabled the Network to complete the difficult work of compliance that some other health care organizations have only recently begun.
“St. Luke’s continues to demonstrate through our decisions and actions that we are a leader in the fight against Covid-19,” Ochs said. “Our 100% compliance rate ensures that St. Luke’s is providing the safest environment for its employees and for its patients and visitors.”