At Legacy Health, the safety of our patients and our staff is our top priority and increasing vaccinations in our communities is the best way to reduce COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths.
Legacy is requiring that all doctors, nurses, staff, students, volunteers and vendors be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18. This requirement is the right thing to do, and it will meet the mandates established by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Legacy required all employees to complete their vaccination series by Sept. 30. Employees who did not complete their vaccine series and did not receive an approved exception from the requirement were placed on unpaid administrative leave on Oct. 1.
The vaccination requirement worked.
As of Oct. 11, about 1,400 more employees have started or completed a vaccine series since we announced the vaccine requirement on Aug. 4. That has increased our employee vaccination rate from 85% to 95%.
Legacy reviewed hundreds of requests for exceptions from the vaccination requirement. A team of spiritual care, ethics, primary care and infection prevention experts provided a thoughtful and thorough review of each request. The Exception Work Group committee approved some medical and religious requests, and we recognize the denials were upsetting for some employees.
After the Sept. 30 deadline, Legacy placed 794 employees who chose not to comply with the vaccine policy on unpaid administrative leave on Oct. 1. Any employee who starts a vaccine series by Oct. 18 will be able to return to work as soon as they are fully vaccinated.
As of Oct. 11, Legacy has about 680 employees on administrative leave for not meeting our vaccination requirement. About 100 of those employees currently on administrative leave made the decision to begin a vaccination series and may return to work when they are fully vaccinated.
For employees who choose not to get vaccinated and will have their employment terminated on Oct. 19, we appreciate the difficulty of this decision. We are grateful to them for their service to their communities. Departing employees will be eligible to be rehired once they are fully vaccinated.
For all of our health care workers, we cannot express our gratitude enough. They worked tirelessly to care for our patients and the community throughout the pandemic. Their contributions and sacrifices are too many to be measured. We are deeply grateful for their service and their contributions to Legacy.
Temporary service consolidations
The safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. To allow us to operate safe and effective patient care for our community, we will temporarily close services in a few locations and consolidate staffing at other nearby facilities.
- In the Woodburn/Silverton communities, we will consolidate computed tomography (CT), mammography, and ultrasound services at Legacy Silverton Medical Center and temporarily close CT, mammography, and ultrasound services at the Woodburn Health Center.
- In Vancouver, we will consolidate ultrasound services at Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center and temporarily close ultrasound services in Medical Office Building B.
- In Tualatin, we will consolidate ultrasound and X-ray services at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and temporarily close ultrasound and X-ray services in Medical Office Building 2.
- We will close the following Legacy Lab Patient Service Center locations: Camas, Cornell, Lake Oswego, and West Linn. This will allow us to move staff to other nearby locations.
- The Family Birth Center at Legacy Silverton Medical Center remains open.
Other actions that are currently under consideration include:
- Continuing to reduce surgeries that are not urgent or emergent and restricting capacity in our facilities
- Finding efficiencies, offering incentives, and prioritizing staff resources for where we have the greatest needs
- Create opportunities for contract and temporary labor and accelerating the hiring process
These service closures are temporary, and we will re-open them as soon as our staffing allows