BREAKING: Genesis, US largest nursing dwelling chain hires staff with COVID-19 vaccinations – Information

Genesis HealthCare, the largest nursing home chain in the country, has declared a “universal” COVID-19 vaccine policy for all employees, care partners and local providers. You have three weeks to complete the requirements.

The company announced this after close of trading on Monday. It’s the biggest shoe that falls in a growing trend towards mandatory vaccinations for nursing staff.

With 357 facilities and nearly 42,000 skilled nursing homes, Genesis is by far the largest single nursing home company in the country, according to the latest statistics from the American Health Care Association.

The new Genesis policy requires individuals to receive a single dose of the Janssen vaccine or the first dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine by August 23. If applicable, the second dose of mRNA would be required by September 22nd.

Genesis HealthCare CEO Harry Wilson

“Our move towards universal vaccination is an incredibly important decision and we have carefully considered the competing concerns before venturing down this path,” said Harry Wilson, CEO of Genesis, in his first public comments since he was named head of the Company earlier this year.

The main concern of caregivers has been that workers who refuse to be vaccinated will abandon their job or profession altogether at a time when there is already a shortage of staff. However, Wilson said there were bigger interests at stake.

“Despite vaccination rates above the national average, the increasing spread of the Delta variant makes it clear that we have to increase our vaccination rates significantly in order to better protect our patients, residents and employees,” he said. “While we would have loved to see a strictly voluntary process, our commitment to health and safety outweighs concerns about a requirement. The universal COVID-19 vaccination offers the safest and most effective course of action to ensure the health and well-being of our patients, residents and employees. “

There are two potentially valid exceptions for an employee who rejects the COVID-19 vaccine: medical or religious, a Genesis spokeswoman explained. If no exemption is granted, corrective action can be taken for the unvaccinated employee, including termination, ”she added.

Despite a growing drumbeat for mandatory vaccinations, especially among health workers, the issue is controversial. AHCA, the country’s largest nursing home association, last week supported providers who may require vaccinations as a condition of employment – but it didn’t directly urge providers to require vaccinations.

On the flip side, the country’s second largest nursing home association, LeadingAge, was part of a coalition of nearly 60 groups calling for mandatory vaccinations for all health care workers early last week.

Wilson said a voluntary corporate vaccination program was launched in December 2020 that emphasizes “communication, engagement and confidence building”. It has achieved “above average” conversion rates of 85% for patients and 65% for employees. But more is needed, he said in the company announcement.

“Due to age, underlying medical conditions, or both, nursing home patients and residents are at greater risk of serious illness when contracting COVID-19,” noted Wilson. “This threat can be significantly reduced by a universal COVID-19 vaccination.”

The company’s statement said it supports AHCA’s “call to ‘require all healthcare and long-term care employers to have their employees vaccinated against COVID-19 …'”. Week.

The Genesis Declaration states that making vaccinations a prerequisite for doing business “is the logical fulfillment of the ethical obligation of all healthcare workers, patients and residents of long-term care facilities, and to take all necessary steps to ensure their health and to ensure their well-being ”. . ”

Genesis joins a growing number of long-term care workers and industry groups in the United States who have announced or endorsed COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees. Long-term care nonprofit giant Good Samaritan, the fifth largest nursing home company in the United States, announced its mandatory vaccination guidelines on July 22nd. Others are Trinity Health, Jewish Family Home and Five Star Senior Living.

According to its website, Genesis is a holding company with subsidiaries that operate 400 qualified care facilities and senior living communities in 26 states. Subsidiaries also supply rehabilitation therapy to around 1,200 locations in 46 states and the District of Columbia. In total, Genesis subsidiaries employ around 70,000 people. The website advises that Genesis offers skilled nursing, memory maintenance, assisted living, and independent living facilities. The company provides heart management, on-site dialysis care, mental health and recovery, neurorehabilitation, ventilation care, VA contract care, pulmonary and transition services, and more.

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