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Stony Brook Hospital suspends 133 unvaccinated employees following mandate deadline

The outside of the Stony Brook University Hospital. The hospital suspended 133 employees without pay on Sept. 29 after not showing COVID-19 vaccination proof; their future with the University is to be determined in the upcoming weeks. SHAH ALI HAIDER SHANTO/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook Hospital suspended 133 employees without pay on Sept. 29 after they failed to show COVID-19 vaccination proof, according to Stony Brook officials. 

All suspended employees will meet with hospital labor representatives in the next two weeks to discuss their options. Furloughed employees may use any vacation or holiday time they may have during their suspension. Stony Brook Hospital will fire all employees who remain noncompliant in accordance with the New York State Department of Health vaccination mandate at the end of the suspension period.  

The vaccine mandate, passed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo in August, went into effect on Sept. 28. The law requires all healthcare workers to be vaccinated with “limited exceptions” for medical and religious reasons. So far, almost 95% of Stony Brook Hospital staff have received a COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Throughout this unprecedented health crisis, Stony Brook University Hospital has upheld its standard of safety and quality of care for our patients and this remains our highest priority,” Carol A. Gomes, chief executive officer of Stony Brook Hospital, said in a statement to The Statesman. “We are monitoring the current situation and are optimizing preparedness so we can make staffing adjustments as necessary.”

Stony Brook Hospital hosted a job fair on Oct. 5 as part of their rehiring contingency plan. It hired Stony Brook University students to “supplement and support staffing in a variety of areas” throughout the department. The hospital also searched for per diem, part time and agency staff. 

“These staffing contingency plans allow us to continue to provide safe staffing and the best possible care to our patients,” Gomes said. “Stony Brook University Hospital has been open throughout the pandemic to serve the community and all services continue to operate as planned.”

Northwell Health, which owns 11 Long Island hospitals, reported firing 1,400 employees across its healthcare system on Oct. 4 after enforcing its own vaccination mandate. Its workforce is now 100% vaccinated. Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital in Oceanside and Catholic Health Services of Long Island also reported furloughing and suspending unvaccinated employees.

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  • A

    AngieNov 1, 2021 at 1:42 am

    Some things you do because you feel like doing them and some things you do because you have to do them. We all follow plenty of other mandates to function as part of a society and this one affects us all. Vaccines are the solution. It’s a shame but it’s true in this pandemic that if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem and avoiding vaccination by choice rather than for medical necessity is shirking responsibility we all share. Let’s get this done and really move on from the restrictions of the past 2 years. Thank you to all the healthcare workers who are vaccinated! The world needs more of you.

    Reply
  • J

    JeffOct 12, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    And on October 5 the hospital held a job fair. They desperately need to fill a bunch of positions.

    Reply
  • N

    N. DunneOct 7, 2021 at 8:38 pm

    Horrible way to treat our medical people, our heros. All that had to be done was to test the un-vaxd employees before they entered to begin shifts on daily basis. The MTA is doing this already. Wake up NY!

    Reply