MidMichigan Health is offering an incentive to its employees, physicians, students, volunteers and contractors who have received the COVID-19 vaccine by June 25.
“As the largest employer in most of the counties we serve, it is our responsibility to be an example for our communities. We realize there may be hesitancy in the vaccine; however, we trust the science behind it and the data continues to show – it works,” said Lydia Watson, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, MidMichigan Health. “While we have had nearly 63 percent of employees receive the vaccine, we want to get that number even higher. By offering an incentive, we believe we can increase the number of those vaccinated, offering a greater level of protection against the virus for all.”
For the incentive, MidMichigan will offer all employees, physicians, students, volunteers and contractors an opportunity to be included in a cash raffle. Those who receive at least the first dose of the vaccine by June 25, 2021, will be entered into a drawing. Then, 10 names will be drawn to receive $1,000.
“From the start, we have encouraged our employees, as well as the community, to say “yes” to the COVID-19 vaccine when it is offered,” continued Dr. Watson. “It’s that yes, that will get us closer to herd immunity, help us to return to ‘normal’ and put this pandemic behind us. We’re close. But we can be much closer.”
In addition to the incentive, over the past three months, MidMichigan Health has offered town hall meetings for its employees and physicians to help address issues of vaccine hesitancy and to answer questions of concern.
“To no surprise, the town halls were virtual, of course. However, that worked in the favor of the employees so that our leaders could reach them no matter where they live or work in our health system,” said Dr. Watson. “As a result, we were able to answer much-asked questions about the vaccine, debunk common myths, and simply be together in a time when all eyes are on the critical role we all play in the fight against the virus.”
Dr. Watson continued, “Since our most recent town hall, we have seen our employee vaccination rate rise. We believe that with the announcement of the incentive, we’ll increase those numbers even more. We all need to do our part to put an end to the virus and we’ll do all that we can to make that happen.”
As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health hosts a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. Staff is also available to help answer community questions Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600. In addition, inquiries can be sent to MidMichigan Health via Facebook messenger at www.facebook.com/midmichigan. More information can also be found at www.midmichigan.org/covid19.
Those interested in a current list of COVID-19 testing site locations may visit www.vaccinefinder.org/search.