Recently I was invited to and took part in the ISAHU/IAHU Legislators and Links event. And wow, what an event! I was in awe of the presence of such great leaders in our state. US Senator Todd Young and Indiana State Congresswoman Victoria Spartz both gave passionate presentations and took questions from attendees. There are a number of key issues being debated in Washington DC right now, and this was a great opportunity to hear directly from these two Federal legislators, especially in light of Congresswoman Spartz being recently appointed to be part of the new Health Care Policy Task Force.
I posed the question to Senator Young and Congresswoman Spartz as to the final ruling on the mandate and will they allow for medical and religious exceptions (our only hope). Both leaders were very receptive to the questions and immediately started working the phones to their staff and related parties trying to get answers. Unfortunately, there are still no clear cut answers. Everyone is at risk now not only to the virus but to their jobs, beliefs and fear of retaliation. I continue to be present, provide support to my front line workers and to pray for our courageous leaders, Senator Young and Congresswoman Spartz to be able to get answers and advocate for the healthcare industry!
As a long time career professional and advocate in the long term care industry, I was especially interested to hear from our state leaders as it pertained to the upcoming and widely debated vaccine mandate for health care workers. You see, recently I partnered with Care Strategies in accepting a post as an Interim Administrator for a small nursing home in Muncie, Indiana. I did this for several reasons, not least of which to provide support to those front line workers who are undergoing a transition in leadership in the most trying time in the history of long term care. While working in this capacity, I am getting bombarded with questions and concerns from our front line. Will I be fired if I don’t get the vaccine? What is my true deadline? Should I even come to work this weekend? I am pregnant…..breastfeeding…..I am scared of the vaccine……can I get a religious/spiritual exception? These are very valid concerns, and I myself am most concerned about the quality of care and the ability to care for our most fragile if we push this mandate. In my opinion (and I am not alone), the consequences of losing front line staff from an already short staffed industry are far worse on the quality of these lives than the consequences/risk of COVID. For example, 97.8% of our residents in our facility are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, only approx 22% of our front line staff are vaccinated. However, scientists say the
vaccine is effective, so if almost all of the residents are protected with this vaccine, and our staff is following universal precautions and masking up – why would we mandate staff be vaccinated and risk losing over half of the workforce. What sense does that make in a risk/benefit analysis?
Carrie Dixon is President/Owner of Claussen Dixon Insurance or
CDI. Based in Noblesville and serving Central and Northeast Indiana. Carrie has over 20 years of experience in the Senior Healthcare Market. Credentials include: Licensed Health Facility Administrator, Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration, and Licensed Independent Insurance Agent.
Website: www.cdi-cares.com and email address: firstname.lastname@example.org