COLUMBUS, Ga, (WRBL) — With several hospital systems across Georgia mandating COVID-19 vaccines for providers and staff, one Columbus hospital is not there yet.
Earlier this month the state’s largest hospital system, Piedmont Healthcare, announced that it would require 23,000 employees including the ones in Columbus to get the COVID.
Emory Healthcare out of Atlanta followed suit with vaccine requirements for physicians and staff.
While Emory has mandated the vaccine effective October 1, St. Francis-Emory Healthcare here in Columbus has not adopted the policy.
Last week in an interview with News 3, St. Francis-Emory Chief Executive Officer Melody Trimble says they are just not there yet.
St. Francis-Emory employs about 2,000 people. It is owned by Tennessee-based LifePoint Health. Emory and LifePoint entered a joint venture in January 2020. It was designed “to enhance access to, and deliver, high-quality, cost-effective care.”
Asked this week why St. Francis-Emory was not following the Emory lead, Trimble issued the following statement from Trimble.
“We are aware of Emory Healthcare’s decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine for its team members, and we respect this position,” the statement read. “Our hospital is working closely in conjunction with our partners at LifePoint and Emory to make the best decision for St. Francis-Emory Healthcare.
“Like the majority of hospitals and health systems in the country, we are continuing to discuss this complex issue and determine best next steps for the communities we serve.”
In addition to Piedmont and Emory, Atlanta-based Wellstar, Grady Memorial Hospital are requiring the vaccine for staff. In Albany, Phoebe Healthcare will mandate weekly COVID tests for the unvaccinated staff.
Piedmont Columbus Regional’s nearly 3,000 employees will be required to be vaccinated for COVID by October 1st.