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Sandy Rousse Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for CVHHH Staff

Sandy Rousse Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for CVHHH Staff

This is a letter from Sandy Rousse, CVHHH’s President & CEO, to our community of healthcare partners, clients, and supporters.

It has been a challenging period for many of us, and I find hope and inspiration in the strength, dedication, and creativity of our staff and what they accomplished. CVHHH’s commitment to Central Vermont is stronger than ever, and we continue to support pandemic efforts by providing COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. We will continue to use the tools at our disposal–wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) with clients, screening staff and patients, and now, mandating vaccines for staff–to further reduce the spread of this virus. We are here for you, and we thank you for choosing us for your home-care needs.

Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice (CVHHH) is taking an additional step to further protect the health and safety of our employees and community. As of next Friday, October 1, CVHHH will require all employees (clinicians, administrative, part-time and per-diem staff, and volunteers) to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing at our headquarters on Granger Road, Berlin. CVHHH staff were made aware of this mandate at the end of August.

Sandy Rousse discusses CVHHH’s vaccine mandate with WDEV Radio’s Ric Cengeri. Click below to listen.

In putting this mandate in place, CVHHH’s leadership team considered several factors. First and foremost, it is our priority to take all reasonable steps within our reach to protect the health and safety of our patients and employees. The highly contagious Delta variant is causing spikes in COVID-19 cases statewide and in our service area, and we know that vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. We have a responsibility as an employer and community-based healthcare provider to take this step. In addition, we want to provide a consistent experience across the care continuum to the many patients we share with our healthcare partners, including Central Vermont Medical Center and our local medical group practices. CVHHH’s mandate is consistent with mandates adopted by the UVM Health Network. 

In sharing this news, I want to celebrate everything our staff have done to support Central Vermonters through the pandemic. In March of this year, I shared a letter in this paper detailing our collaboration with People’s Health & Wellness Clinic and Good Samaritan Haven to encourage COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for displaced members of our community that got right to the heart of our mission. Since then, CVHHH nurses distributed over 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines to Central Vermonters at home and delivered well over 10,000 meals through the Vermont Everyone Eats program. All the while, we continued to provide medical and supportive care at home in the safest way possible, in-person or through telehealth. We never shut our doors and always continued to accept referrals, including for COVID-positive clients, many of whom were not hospitalized prior to contracting the virus. Our approach protected our patients, staff, and community from the coronavirus and provided much-needed healthcare to our clients in a safe and comfortable environment. 

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