Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as a community healthcare provider, Mountain Family
Health Center’s (MFHC) top priority is keeping patients, employees and visitors safe. While we
strive to empower our staff to achieve this goal through local efforts, these are unprecedented
times, which require us to implement a mandatory COVID vaccination policy unilaterally across
the organization for the safety of our patients and staff.
In the last month, we have seen the cases of COVID-19 spike in our service areas, with the majority of those infections believed to be the Delta variant. Our regional hospitals are seeing dramatic increases in the numbers admitted for COVID-19. Of those in the hospital for COVID19, the vast majority are unvaccinated. Those who have been vaccinated and are in the hospital are less likely to be in the ICU.
The data is clear: vaccines work. They protect people from an ugly illness that has claimed more
than 620,000 lives in the United States and infected more than 36.9 million people.
The best way to stay safe from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
An unvaccinated person is about 50 times more likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than a
vaccinated person, and nearly 300 times more likely to die if infected.
MFHC is joining many health care organizations across the nation in requiring vaccines for all
staff and providers. By October 1, 2021, all staff who work at any MFHC location are required to
be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive an approved medical or religious exemption as
part of MFHC’s continued commitment to protect the safety and health of our patients,
employees, visitors, and communities.
Across the nation, momentum for employee vaccination is growing. The U.S. military and some
of our nation’s most well-known brands: United and Frontier airlines, Walmart, Google and
Walgreens, to name a few, are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.
As of August 23, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration has issued full approval of the PfizerBioNTech COVID vaccine and is expected to fully approve other COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna, Johnson and Johnson) over the coming weeks and months ahead.
About 340 million vaccine doses have now been administered across the nation, and 3.8 billion
doses have been provided to people around the world. Mountain Family Health Centers has
provided more than 9,500 COVID vaccinations to the community in 2021.
MFHC employees have the option of receiving the vaccine of their choice, which includes two
doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of the J&J vaccine. Those with a valid
medical or sincerely-held religious reason to avoid vaccination may request an exemption to the
As leaders of MFHC, we trust the health science community who has closely studied these vaccines and is monitoring their effectiveness. This is not a political statement for us – it is one of health and safety. Requiring all staff to be vaccinated is simply the right thing to do because it will help protect patients, visitors, and everyone working in the health care system’s clinics and affiliated hospitals.
Staff who are unvaccinated at this time will be subject to the following requirements until their vaccine series of choice is completed and documented with HR:
• Must wear an N95 mask and eye protection at all times when in clinic unless in a room
alone with the door closed;
• Must be tested twice a week for COVID-19.
It is rare that we the MFHC leadership and the Board of Directors make a unilateral decision like
this; however, the data is clear – for the protection of our staff, your families, and our patients,
this is a critical time and requires swift action.
Ross A. Brooks, CEO
Dr. Matt Percy, Chief Medical Team
Dr. Anneliese Heckert, Chief Medical Team
Monica Perez-Rhodes, Chair of Board of Directors