MaineHealth to Require Care Team COVID-19 Vaccinations as Condition of Employment
August 03, 2021
As MaineHealth seeks to limit the spread of COVID-19, vaccination will be a requirement for employment, with very few exceptions, as of Oct. 1, 2021.
Portland, Maine – MaineHealth, northern New England’s largest health system and Maine’s largest private employer, announced today that it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all care team members, with very few exceptions, as a condition of employment, as of Oct. 1, 2021.
With this effort, MaineHealth joins dozens of hospitals and health systems, along with some government and non-healthcare private employers, in a public health effort to limit spread of COVID-19, especially in light of the growing threat of the Delta variant.
“The vaccines are very effective, and are preventing hospitalizations and health complications with COVID-19. In addition, the vaccines are proven safe – we have a full year of data from the clinical trials and almost 200 million Americans have received a COVID-19 vaccination,” said Dora-Anne Mills, MD, chief health improvement officer of MaineHealth. “To be consistent with our values and to protect our colleagues, families, patients and communities, we believe it is paramount that all care team members be vaccinated.”
As of late July, 83.8 percent of all MaineHealth care team members were fully vaccinated.
“Our care team members have worked extremely hard and have sacrificed much in the fight against COVID-19, and we thank them profoundly,” Mills said. “As we ask all our care team members to be vaccinated, I’d ask all Mainers to please, please get your COVID-19 vaccination. It will protect you, your family and your community.”
Having broad vaccination is especially necessary to protect those who are vulnerable, including unvaccinated children and the immunocompromised. It is for this very reason this many health care and long-term care organizations already require vaccinations for COVID-19, along with influenza, pertussis and chickenpox.
As with non-state mandated vaccines, bona fide medical and religious exemptions will be considered by MaineHealth.
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral health care network, diagnostic services, home health agencies and nearly 1,700 employed physicians working together through the MaineHealth Medical Group. With more than 23,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.