Alan Levine sends letter to Ballad employees regarding COVID-19 and Biden’s remarks on vaccination

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – CEO of Ballad Health Alan Levine has sent a letter to Ballad employees regarding the challenging past weeks and remarks that Biden made about vaccine mandates.

Alan opened the letter making sure that all Ballad employees know how much they are valued and appreciated. He also acknowledged that some of the recent tragedies have taken a mental toll on many employees, especially those at the Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

“Just because you may be a skilled caregiver does not mean you are not human. Many times, we assume nurses and doctors, and others who provide hands-on care for patients (or support those who do), are able to deal with these difficult problems as a matter of course – some may think you have a bad outcome or situation, and you then just move on to the next case.  We know that not to be true, and in fact, would hope it is never true. We want our team to be human, to feel empathy for our patients and their families, and to never disconnect. That having been said, we also want our team to be resilient, and my observation is that in each case, the resiliency comes from the support we give each other. Please, if you feel you need to talk with someone, take advantage of our Employee Assistance Program. It is there for you,” said Levine.

Levine reminds employees that if they need to talk to someone that they can take advantage of the Employee Assistance program.

He then turns his attention to the remarks that Biden made about requiring companies with 100 or more employees to make require full vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test once a week.

Levine says that without seeing the “actual language” of the regulations discussed by the president, it is impossible to know what Ballad Health will do.

“Regardless of what Ballad was preparing to do either way, the President’s action requires that we pause, and wait until we receive guidance in the form of specificity in the rules.  If we were to take any action now, it could be possible we’d have to change course again once the rules come out.  So, for now, it is best to wait until we see what the requirements will be in the rules.  At that point, we will make an educated decision about our actions.  Whatever decision we make will come with the full support of the Board of Directors and management, and that decision will be final,” stated Levine.

He ended the letter encouraging everyone who can get vaccinated to do so.

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