Our Lady of the Lake system announces vaccine requirement

Staff Report
A COVID-19 vaccination is administered.

The Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System announced Aug. 3 its organization will require COVID-19 vaccination for all team members, employed providers, residents, students in clinical rotations, contract staff, and volunteers.

Implementation of the requirement will occur over several months concluding December 2021, according to a news release from the organization.

The following statement was attributed to Richard R. Vath, M.D., President and CEO:

"We have listened to our team members and physicians as well as tracked the rapid progress of this fourth surge to reach this decision. Throughout the pandemic, our teams have risen to the calling to care for those who need them. We continue that now but already we are straining to meet the demand. It is predicted that we have several weeks and possibly months before we reach the peak of this surge. We must act now to protect each other from spreading the delta variant and protect vulnerable patients from exposure. Vaccines are the best means of accomplishing this and more important than ever as the lasting step to end this pandemic. We should not wait any longer. Our health system is not alone in its decision to require a vaccine and joins many other healthcare organizations and expect others to follow. As a healthcare leader we believe we must take this step now for everyone’s safety and long-term community well-being.

There’s never been a more important time to demonstrate, by example, our responsibility to one another and all those we serve."

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System is the parent organization to St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe, Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge, Our Lady of Lourdes in Acadiana, Our Lady of the Angels in Bogalusa and St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson, Miss.