St. Lukes’s and Saint Alphonsus are the largest two hospitals in the state of Idaho. We previously reported back on August 15th, that Saint Alphonsus was complaining about a staff shortage while simultaneously threatening to fire a large portion of their staff for not being vaccinated.
Now, major hospitals throughout the state have implemented crisis care standards due to high Covid-19 rates and a shortage of staff. The night before a major announcement, a St. Luke’s employee in the city of Nampa posted this to Facebook after being fired:
“Well it’s finished. This chapter is closed. My first time ever being terminated from employment. Yet I feel a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I know God has big plans for me. I will not be silent. The fight has just begun. To my NICU families- thank you for letting me into your world during the most stressful time in your life. I am humbled to have been able to care for your little ones. You, your family and littles have touched my life and inspired me. I’ll never stop advocating for you. It just will look a little different now. To my amazing coworkers. You have become my family. I love each and every one of you. Thank you for being my rock, for showering me with lunch, cookies, cards, hugs and kind words. Thank you to the few legislators willing to fight for us. We see your hard work and appreciate it. To our spineless Governor: thanks for nothing! You had a chance to make a huge impact and stop these mandates. You took the east road out and left us high and dry. You and many in the legislature failed us. You Failed Us!!! To St Luke’s: Did you really think an extension would get me to stay? Why on earth would I bail you out? You knew you’d lose a ton of staff. Yet you remained arrogant and claimed all was well. You didn’t need me. Well I DONT need you. I WONT let you jerk me around and I WONT bail you out. You made your bed, now lay in it. Shame on you St Luke’s and seems like you have what is coming for you, not the other way around as you threatened. This battle has only just begun. Justice will prevail, and God’s will, will be done. #stopthemandateidaho#stopthemandate#forcedtermination#bodyautonomy#neonatalnurse#idaho#mandatessuck#godisgood#goodwillprevail#shameonyou“
“NEW: St. Luke’s and Saint Alphonsus have temporarily paused COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees following Thursday’s announcement that Crisis Standards of Care was activated statewide by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.”
The very next day it was reported that Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s changed their mind. We are not sure if Kelsey Rule was offered her job back. It seems the hospitals are realizing that Idaho is a “health freedom” state and there are far too many people who disagree with their policy to mandate vaccines for them to continue to properly function. What should be a scandal, is how any of these businesses were able to fire anyone in the first place, when they were already short-staffed. We reported in August:
On Friday, a local Boise, Idaho news station called KBOI, released a story on one of the major local hospitals called Saint Alphonsus. They have multiple locations throughout the region, which many call the Treasure Valley. The report talks about how the hospital has a thin staff “As the COVID wave rolls on”.
The article points to the backlog of surgery from earlier in the year as well as staff out sick with COVID-19, as the main factors stressing the hospital.
There seems to be concern over a staff shortage, which seems odd as Saint Alphonsus Health System as well as Saint Luke’s Health System and Primary Health Group, three of the large providers in the Treasure Valley, made national news by announcing they would be requiring staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or be fired if they don’t get an exemption they can apply for.
In other words, an already short-staffed hospital system is threatening to fire a good chunk of its staff for not being vaccinated, which could create an even larger shortage. KTVB reported on the Saint Alphonsus deadline:
“The policy requires all “colleagues, clinical staff, contractors, and those conducting business in its health care facilities” to submit proof of full vaccination by Sep. 21, 2021.”
Saint Alphonsus is part of a Catholic Conglomerate, Trinity Health a Michigan-based health organization. Trinity Health announced they would mandate the vaccine for all of its employees which includes hospital systems in 22 states with approximately 177,000 employees.
Many local hospital employees and local residents peacefully protested this at various hospital locations on more than one occasion, showing that many disagreed with the policy.
It appears that Saint Alphonsus at least has had their bluff called on them, as it never got to September 21st. Many hospital staff may have quit though, or been vaccinated under threat of losing their job, only for the company to at least temporarily reverse the policy.
It’s unclear how many were fired from St. Luke’s, and how many total employees were lost by both organizations over the last month, but we presume it was not looking pretty. Big corporations don’t like changing policies like this and admitting they may have been wrong, therefore the locals must have made a big impression one way or another.
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Author: Ian MacDonald
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