PUTNAM — Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH) will require all members of its workforce receive at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Nov. 1 as a condition of employment unless they are granted a medical exemption or deferral, or an approved religious exemption. The mandate applies to health system employees, medical staff, volunteers, students, contractors and vendors.
The requirement aligns with the Connecticut Hospital Association’s (CHA) statewide commitment by Connecticut’s hospitals, announced in June, endorsing mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for hospital and health system employees and clinical staff.
“By requiring the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, DKH joins health systems and associations across the country in supporting vaccination for health care workers in an effort to continue protecting our patients, staff, and communities from this dangerous disease,” said Kyle Kramer, chief executive officer, Day Kimball Healthcare. “Unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again due to the threat of variants, and many communities continue to have low vaccination rates.”
He added: “In keeping with our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of our community by providing the best medical care, and our commitment to providing safe care for patients and a safe work environment for employees, the decision to require vaccinations in our workforce was thoughtfully made. The available COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and proven to be the best way to prevent transmission, hospitalizations, and deaths from the virus.”
Individuals may request a COVID-19 vaccination exemption or deferral (to a later date) for a medical reason or sincerely held religious/spiritual belief. Those seeking a medical or religious exemption or deferment must request one by Sept. 30. Failure to comply with DKH’s vaccine policy will result in that individual not being allowed to work at DKH.
“As a High Reliability Organization (HRO), DKH is committed to providing high-quality, safe care to our patients and a safe workplace to our health system employees,” said John Graham, chief medical officer and vice president medical affairs and quality, Day Kimball Healthcare. “83 percent of our health system employees, including 100 percent of our physicians, have voluntarily received vaccinations already. Requiring vaccination for our employees is critical to maintaining a safe care environment. We continually educate staff by sharing vaccine resources and giving the opportunity to directly ask leaders and clinicians questions regarding vaccine research, safety and efficacy.”
Access to the vaccine remains available for DKH staff at no cost through DKH Employee Health and at any of its Day Kimball Medical Group adult and pediatric primary care practices.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccination distribution plans in Connecticut, call 2-1-1, the CT State Hotline for information or visit ct.gov/covidvaccine. Local information is available on the Northeast District Department of Health website at nddh.org. For more information about Day Kimball Healthcare’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout visit daykimball.org/coronavirus.
Day Kimball Healthcare is a nonprofit community healthcare system composed of Day Kimball Hospital, Day Kimball Medical Group, Day Kimball Healthcare at Home, and healthcare centers in Danielson, Dayville, Plainfield, and Putnam. Its service area includes Northeast Connecticut as well as nearby Massachusetts and Rhode Island communities. Day Kimball Healthcare’s comprehensive network employs more than 1,000 staff including nearly 300 associated, highly skilled physicians, surgeons and specialists.


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