Official Statement Regarding Vaccine Requirement

HUGH CHATHAM MEMORIAL HOSPITAL

Elkin, NC – October 7, 2021 – Last December, Hugh Chatham became one of the first healthcare systems in North Carolina to offer Covid-19 vaccines. Since, we have worked diligently to not only care for those stricken with the coronavirus, but also to educate our team and community regarding vaccine safety and effectiveness.

Nearly 400 million Covid-19 vaccines have been given in the United States alone, while we have provided more than 12,000 Covid-19 vaccinations in our own community. Ongoing monitoring and research has confirmed vaccine safety and effectiveness. It is also clear that the risk of hospitalization, serious illness, or death from Covid-19 (700,000+ US deaths) is dramatically greater for the unvaccinated. As preventive and therapeutic Covid-19 treatments have emerged, our ability to prevent harm and provide safe, high-quality care to our community has only strengthened. After careful review of clinical studies, expert guidance, and witnessing the devastating effects of Covid-19 on hundreds of patients and families first-hand, we have implemented a vaccine requirement to help protect our team members, medical staff, volunteers, and suppliers from this deadly virus.

Consistent with our other clinical practices, this decision was based upon rigorous clinical studies, actual outcomes data, and evidence-based best practice guidelines from the experts. The Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and national medical boards such as those governing Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology are just a few examples of credible sources that inform such decisions. Currently, 96% of our entire medical staff has been fully vaccinated, along with the majority of our workforce. As we approach full workforce protection, we continue to offer the vaccine – at no cost to patients – at our Yadkin Valley Home Health office in Jonesville and at our Clingman Medical Center & Express Care in Ronda.

Being entrusted with the care and well-being of our community is not only an honor – it is a sacred pledge. We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from so many, and take immense pride in being here for our community; always.

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Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital (www.hughchatham.org) is a not-for-profit community health care network of physician clinics and an 81-bed acute care hospital that delivers high quality, convenient health care to residents of the Yadkin Valley and Foothills region of North Carolina and parts of southwestern Virginia. Employing more than 1,000 team members, Hugh Chatham includes a medical group of more than 60 providers across 24 locations and six counties. Headquartered in Elkin, North Carolina, Hugh Chatham is a leader in using technology to coordinate care for patients and to make healthcare more accessible, and cost-effective.