Henry Ford: 98 percent of staff are vaccinated; non-compliance leads to suspension, forced resignation

Last Friday marked the deadline for Henry Ford Health System employees to be vaccinated. On Monday the company said nearly everyone has complied.

As the start of the school year and sporting events bring more and more people together, concerns in the medical community are growing

"We can’t afford for numbers of Covid patients to go higher," said Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Henry Ford Health System.

The concern among administrators and doctors at Henry Ford Hospital comes as hospitals across the country - including Henry Ford - deal with staffing shortages and a rising infection rate among the unvaccinated.

On Monday medical staff provided details on patients throughout the health system they are currently treating who have the virus

"Seventy-nine-percent is unvaccinated, 10.8 percent are patients who are in-between doses," Dr. Munkarah said.

Last Friday about 50 hospital employees dropped their lawsuit against Henry Ford. It was the same day the hospital mandated employees to be vaccinated, and one day after President Biden announced a requirement for healthcare workers to be vaccinated.

"I am thrilled to report of end of the day 98 percent of our team members are either fully compliant with both doses or have received their first dose, and have scheduled an appointment for the second," said Bob Riney, health system president.

Included in the percentage, are those granted an exemption.

"I don’t have an exact number for the exemption but it’s less than 1 percent," he said.

Administrators say they are still working with employees who were not vaccinated by Friday’s deadline and they will not be fired.

For now, they will be placed on a three-week suspension without pay. If they are not vaccinated at the end of the suspension they will have to voluntarily resign.

"If they refuse to resign and comply with this, then we would have to terminate their employment," Riney said.

As the hospital deals with staffing issues, they’re also addressing their bed capacity

"Ninety-five percent of our beds are currently (being used)," said Munkarah. "They are being utilized by patients who have non-Covid and Covid related (illness)."

But hospital staff says medical care will not be compromised.