To the editor:
I found comments about vaccinations at Rep. Tracey Mann’s town hall meeting Aug. 19 at Marion County Lake hall a bit disturbing.
Opposing mandatory vaccinations for hospital and nursing home staff members seems to fly in the face of basic purpose of health care, which is to heal and comfort and “do no harm.”
In my 20-plus years of employment with St. Luke Hospital and Living Center, we were constantly on guard and taking precautions to prevent nosocomial infections and diseases that a patient acquires at a health care facility.
Because of that, vaccinations were required, tests for tuberculosis were given yearly, and every employee was instructed in proper hand-washing.
The aim was to protect the health of our patients and residents. Surely a vaccination against a potentially deadly disease like COVID-19 and the variants of COVID-19 should be universally taken by all staff to protect the health and well-being of the patients and residents of St Luke Hospital and Living Center.
A mandate would not be required if the staff is truly dedicated to the mission of health care and public health.
One could conclude that non-compliance to vaccinate by St. Luke Hospital and Living Center employees is a failure of leadership to communicate the mission of a community health care facility.
Harry E. Bennett
Last modified Sept. 1, 2021