On Aug. 17, Open Door Health Services announced it will require COVID-19 and flu vaccination for all employees across its seven East Central Indiana locations. The requirement applies to 230 team members at Open Door’s medical, dental, and behavioral health sites, including its mobile care unit and Title X family planning clinic. Open Door’s Covering Kids and Families insurance enrollment sites and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program sites are also included.
President and CEO Bryan Ayars said the requirement aligns with the organization’s mission to improve the lives of others, as well as its obligation to provide a safe environment for employees and patients.
“While we respect an individual’s right to choose to be vaccinated, as a provider of health services we owe it to our patients to provide safe spaces for care, as well as healthy professionals to care for them. Like other vaccines and screenings we require, these measures are in place to protect our employees, patients, and the broader community,” said Ayars. “As a nonprofit organization, we have a social contract with our communities to serve the greater good.”
Ayars emphasizes that vaccination is critical to reducing transmission of COVID-19 in an area with a community vaccination rate below 50%.
“In addition to wearing masks, observing appropriate social distance, and washing our hands, the COVID-19 vaccine is essential to minimizing risk. With three safe and highly effective vaccines, severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 are preventable tragedies,” Ayars said.
According to the CDC, all COVID-19 vaccines the FDA makes available for use in the U.S. have met the same rigorous safety and effectiveness standards as every other type of vaccine used in the country.
Open Door employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 15, 2021. Individuals may apply for exemptions in accordance to existing law and regulations.
Headquartered in Muncie, Open Door Health Services provides whole-person healthcare and wraparound support programs to more than 30,000 individuals across East Central Indiana. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, services are open to any community member with or without insurance, and financial barriers do not limit care.