HopeHealth has achieved a 75 percent COVID-19 vaccination rate across the organization.
While HopeHealth does not currently require the COVID-19 vaccine, the 75 percent vaccination rate is an industry high.
“We provide education and incentives to our staff regularly and continue working to increase that percentage even more,” said Tiffany Straus, director of community relations. “As always, we are keeping close tabs on the situation and meeting regularly to discuss policy updates.”
“This is a great achievement which will keep our teams and patients safe,” said Dr. Heather Leisy, director of preventive medicine at HopeHealth. “Vaccination is the best way of fighting against the virus.”
HopeHealth leadership has encouraged employees to get vaccinated since the vaccines became available to staff. Many were able to receive the vaccine at initial drives for health care employees provided by McLeod Health Care and Medical University of South Carolina Florence Medical Center, while others received the vaccine through employee health, their own providers, and other vaccination locations in their areas.
In addition, staff, such as Tanya SoJourner, corporate compliance manager, shared their reflections on the vaccine internally.
“When I first heard about a potential vaccine for COVID 19, I believed a wait-and-see attitude was the best course of action,” said SoJourner, who added that she was petrified of taking it for fear of a severe local reaction.
However, once she found out she had a grandbaby, Valor, the rest was history.
“I had an appointment to get my first dose in January and received my second dose in February. The only side effect I had with either shot was a sore arm.”
Then tragedy struck. SoJourner’s brother-in-law, who had not been vaccinated, was hospitalized with COVID and passed away. His only high-risk factor was age.
“I truly believe that if he had been vaccinated he would still be with us,” she said.
With nearly 600 employees, achieving a 75 percent vaccination rate significantly helps keep our communities healthy.
“We encourage everyone who has not yet been vaccinated to do so,” said Dr. Leisy. “We can all do our part to protect our community. Getting the vaccine not only protects you, but also those more vulnerable to the disease.”
HopeHealth is a nonprofit leader in providing affordable, expert health care and infectious diseases services for all ages in Aiken, Florence, Clarendon, Orangeburg, and Williamsburg Counties. Our federally qualified health centers are the primary care providers of choice for more than 50,000 patients. To become a patient, call 843-667-9414 or visit hope-health.org.