A hospital in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will give its employees a bonus for getting vaccinated, a spokesperson told MedPage Today.
Full-time employees at St. John’s Health will get $600 if they’re fully vaccinated by May 31, said chief communications officer Karen Connelly. That amount will be pro-rated for part-time employees who meet the deadline. Bonuses will be paid in June, she added.
About three-quarters (74%) of the hospital’s 870 employees have already been vaccinated, but the hope is that the incentive will push that figure to 90% or higher, Connelly said.
The current rate is far higher than the state average of 40%, according to data from the Wyoming Department of Health.
“There’s a lot of trust in science among healthcare workers, and they believe the vaccine is the path out of the devastation of the pandemic, but people are busy, or have other considerations,” Connelly said. “Hopefully this gets us to our target sooner than later.”
Jackson Hole is close to two national parks — Grand Teton and Yellowstone — which both saw record numbers of visitors last summer and are expecting to see another busy season this year.
“For visitors, and certainly for our patients, anyone who may seek healthcare in our community, we wanted to express our commitment to safety and being leaders in the health of our community,” Connelly said.
The hospital’s Board of Trustees approved the bonus late last week, believing the incentive was the right method to boost vaccination rates rather than a mandate, as other hospitals and health facilities have opted for.
Earlier this month, Houston Methodist became one of the first health systems to require vaccinations for managers and all new employees, with plans to implement mandates for additional employees. At least three assisted-living facilities have also mandated COVID vaccination for their healthcare workers.