LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Arkansas Heart Hospital is joining the growing list of regional medical facilities that are going to require employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
AHH CEO Dr. Bruce Murphy explained in the statement that in order to best care for patients, the hospital’s staff needed to care for themselves.
“We cannot provide the best health care services possible if we do not first care for ourselves,” he said. “With this policy, we are committed to fulfilling the fundamental promise to do everything within our power to protect the health and safety of our patients, team members, their families and the communities we serve.”
According to the statement, the new policy requires all medical employees to be fully vaccinated by September 30. Beginning August 1, all unvaccinated AHH employees are required to receive their first dose of the vaccine by their start date and their second dose within 30 days of employment.
In their statement, the AHH notes that they will continue to accommodate religious and medical exemptions.
On Tuesday, the Arkansas Hospital Association released a statement supporting the requirement for COVID-19 vaccines within local hospitals.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital announced last week that it would require their managers and hospital leaderships to be fully vaccinated by September 30, with new hires requiring vaccinations starting mid-August.
Conway Regional Health System made a similar announcement on Thursday. Other hospital groups in northwest Arkansas announced these moves in the previous weeks.
On Friday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported that there are an additional 2,544 cases and 32 hospitalizations within the last 24 hours. This brings the state’s total number of cases to 385,133 and hospitalizations to 1,087.