Gundersen: 30 out of 9,000 employees terminated over vaccine rule

62 resigned rather than receive COVID-19 vaccine

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Gundersen Health System said Wednesday that 30 people out of its more than 9,000 employees were fired and 62 resigned rather than receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

The La Crosse-based health-care system announced in August that all staff members would be required to receive their COVID-19 vaccine as part of its efforts to end the pandemic and protect the health of the community.

“Gundersen respects everyone’s right to express their opinion on this and a variety of issues, and understands the choice some employees will make. However, Gundersen’s mission of caring for patients and ensuring their health and safety, along with the health and safety of staff, is the organization’s number one priority,” a Gundersen statement said.

Ninety-nine percent of Gundersen staff are fully vaccinated or in the process of becoming fully vaccinated. There were exceptions made for those with medical or disability reasons or for religious beliefs.

The vaccine requirement was taken in anticipation of federal vaccine mandates which are now in effect. The Biden Administration’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services enacted emergency regulations requiring all staff at health care facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs get vaccinated.

“Gundersen’s dedicated staff deeply appreciate the efforts of neighbors, friends, and businesses to battle the pandemic together and ensure we can continue to care for all who seek our services. This includes masking, distancing, hand hygiene, and vaccination. Together we will end the pandemic,” said the emailed statement.

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