Senate Praises Vaccine Mandated Retirement Community in Sioux Falls – Dakota Free Press
And Senator Wiik didn’t object?
Last August, the retirement community of Dow Rummel Village asked staff to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, for the sake of the lives of their residents and staff as well as their Medicare and Medicaid funding:
Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, more than 50 health organizations and medical groups are advocating that all health and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Their statement reads, “It is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all healthcare workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and to take all necessary steps to ensure their health and well-being. Last week, President Biden announced that nursing home staff will now need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or those facilities risk losing their Medicare and Medicaid funding. Additionally, many senior service providers already mandate vaccinations for their staff, including Sanford Health, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, VA, Touchmark, Presbyterian Senior Living, Sunrise Senior Living, Episcopal Retirement Services, Jewish Home Family, Brookdale Senior Living, Aegis Living, Atria Senior Living and Benchmark Senior Living to name a few.
We have seen many residents and staff stepping up to receive the vaccine last winter as soon as it was available and through ongoing staff training we have seen our percentage of staff getting vaccinated continue to slowly increase to achieve 75% of staff fully vaccinated by that date. time. Many of you (residents, family members and staff) have expressed concern that we do not have all staff vaccinated. Our mission is that “Dow Rummel seeks to design and adopt a SAFE and caring social community for active seniors who are pursuing their full potential. Staff vaccinations are essential to the health and well-being of our residents and colleagues and ensure a safer living environment for our residents and a safer workplace for our staff. Vaccines have proven to be safe and effective. The Pfizer vaccine is now fully FDA approved. While the other 2 vaccines are FDA EUA approved (Emergency Use Authorization). Therefore, mandating COVID-19 and seasonal flu vaccines is the right thing for us at Dow Rummel.
This letter is to inform you that our Board of Directors has approved a vaccination mandate for all Dow Rummel employees and other healthcare workers against influenza and COVID-19. All employees and other healthcare workers working at Dow Rummel must be vaccinated against the flu and have received their 2n/a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 1st Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by November 1, 2021 and receive any required influenza vaccines or COVID-19 booster shots. Our goal is to have all staff vaccinated, but our policy allows for a process to be followed for health and religious exceptions to the vaccination mandate. While we understand and support the rationale for the mandate of HHS and CMS, frankly, we have no choice in the matter because we cannot do without funding from these agencies. [Darla J Van Rosendale, CEO, Dow Rummel Village, “Vaccine Announcement,” 2021.08.30].
Last Friday, by unanimous consent, the South Dakota Senate commended Dow Rummel for protecting life with this mandate. The Senate 803 Commemoration, presented by Sen. Reynold Nesiba (D-15/Sioux Falls), of Dow Rummel residents, salutes the salutary results of this scientific mandate:
WHEREAS the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the State of South Dakota, with new cases reaching record highs every day; and
WHEREAS the COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the risk of serious illness because the risk of being hospitalized is eight times lower for vaccinated adults; and
WHEREAS, the 94% vaccination rate among staff at Dow Rummel Village, a retirement home in Sioux Falls, exceeds South Dakota’s statewide vaccination rate by just under 63 %; and
WHEREAS vaccinating Dow Rummel Village staff increases the safety and comfort of residents who depend on staff for their daily accommodation and support:
NOW THEREFORE BE IT REMEMBERED, by the Ninety-Seventh Legislature of the State of South Dakota, that Dow Rummel Village be honored for promoting the welfare of its employees, increasing the safety of its residents, demonstrating its commitment to reducing the severity of the pandemic and to being an exemplary healthcare facility in the State of South Dakota [2022 SC 803, approved 2022.01.21].
“Exemplary” – as in setting an example that we should all follow.
So there you have it, straight from the South Dakota Senate: Get vaccinated and tell your employees to get vaccinated!