WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Masonicare employs 1,800 people across its Connecticut locations. Those workers care for 4,400 people. President and CEO J.P. Venoit decided to require employee vaccinations when the COVID-19 vaccine became available in December 2020.
“We recognized very quickly that this was something we would have to do across our system,” says Venoit. He understood there would be some vaccine hesitancy, and allowed leeway in their policy.
“We actually gave all of our employees until June 30th, of which by June 15th they can have whether it be a religious or medical exemption, very similar to how we do our flu vaccine.”
Venoit says it has gone better than expected with a compliance rate so far of 85%. The result of more employees gaining confidence in the safety of the vaccinations.
He shared one example of an aid in a Masonicare nursing home who overcame her skepticism and got the vaccine. She credit Venoit’s supportive and reassuring messaging to employees.
She told him: “I took it and have had no effects and I have actually gone telling some of my other coworkers they should get it.”
WEB EXTRA: Masonicare CEO discusses vaccines and the workplace
And Masonicare’s leader has heard from CEOs from around the country, reaching out to him for guidance on crafting their own vaccination protocols.
“The right thing to do usually isn’t always the easiest thing but it’s the way that we know we can get back to some normalcy sooner than later,” Venoit said.