Dr. Ken Silverstein, chief physician executive at ChristianaCare, issued the following statement today about ChristianaCare’s COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment:
ChristianaCare’s 14,000 caregivers serve together with love and excellence every day to meet the needs of the people we serve. Doing that requires a safe environment to care for patients and a safe work environment for caregivers.
We value our caregivers, and we are proud to be one of nearly 100 health systems across the United States that have made COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment. This important, life-saving safety standard supports our continued ability to serve our neighbors as respectful, expert, caring partners in their health. That’s the ChristianaCare Way.
We did not make the decision about our vaccination policy lightly. The imminent danger posed by the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID has tipped the scales in our effort to balance the right to personal freedom with the right to having a safe workplace.
Our decision-making is based on the science and the facts about the vaccine.
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and approved. They are not experimental. Hundreds of millions of doses have been given under the most intense scrutiny in medical history. We know more about the safety of these vaccines than we’ve ever known about a vaccine so soon after it has become available.
Since we announced our caregiver vaccination policy on July 29, the majority of feedback we’ve received has been positive and supportive, as our caregivers and members of our community welcome this commitment to their safety. We also recognize that a significant number of individuals continue to have concerns about the vaccine and its safety. We are listening actively, as we also work to provide clear, factual information about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
We encourage everyone, in all communities, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 today. COVID has shown more clearly than ever how we are all interconnected. Vaccination is the best way to protect each other.
The rapid COVID-19 resurgence that we are currently experiencing is the result of the virus spreading among unvaccinated people. This spread increases the likelihood of new mutations—and with each variant there is danger that the virus can become more transmissible or even evolve to become resistant to the current vaccines.
Our best hope of preventing the emergence of another, even more dangerous variant of this virus is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible.
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Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, ChristianaCare is one of the country’s most dynamic health care organizations, centered on improving health outcomes, making high-quality care more accessible and lowering health care costs. ChristianaCare includes an extensive network of primary care and outpatient services, home health care, urgent care centers, three hospitals (1,299 beds), a freestanding emergency department, a Level I trauma center and a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a comprehensive stroke center and regional centers of excellence in heart and vascular care, cancer care and women’s health. It also includes the pioneering Gene Editing Institute.
ChristianaCare is nationally recognized as a great place to work, rated by Forbes as the 5th best health system to work for in the United States and by IDG Computerworld as one of the nation’s Best Places to Work in IT. ChristianaCare is rated by HealthGrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals and continually ranked among the nation’s best by Newsweek and other national quality ratings. ChristianaCare is a nonprofit teaching health system with more than 260 residents and fellows. With its groundbreaking Center for Virtual Health and a focus on population health and value-based care, ChristianaCare is shaping the future of health care.