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All Four Monterey County Hospitals Ask Employees and Community Members to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

All Four Monterey County Hospitals Ask Employees and Community Members to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccines required for all hospital employees by September 30

Chad Harris, MD, Interim CEO, Natividad Medical Center

Steven Packer, MD, President/CEO, Montage Health and Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula

Pete Delgado, President/CEO, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Rena Salamacha, CEO, Mee Memorial Healthcare System

(MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif., August 26, 2021) — At Natividad, Mee Memorial Healthcare System, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Healthcare System and Montage Health, we’ve seen firsthand how safe COVID-19 vaccines are. They are also the most effective way to prevent infection, subsequent transmission and outbreaks.

Sadly, COVID-19 hospitalizations and case rates in Monterey County continue to increase in unvaccinated patients who have contracted the more contagious Delta variant. And the vulnerable populations we care for are at the highest risk.

Nearly 5 billion COVID-19 vaccines have been administered worldwide. Vaccines are the key to getting our lives, our health care systems and the economy back to normal. We can’t control this pandemic without widespread immunization. Our four area hospitals are unified and join health care leaders nationwide advocating vaccination for all eligible individuals. Vaccination is key to public health and the right thing to do to protect our patients, staff, families, friends and community.

California is the first in the nation to mandate all health care workers statewide be vaccinated against COVID-19. Every hospital in Monterey County and their health care systems stand behind this mandate.

Starting October 1, only vaccinated individuals will be permitted to work at all of our hospitals. Only those with a valid authorized religious or medical exemption may decline the vaccine. Our hospitals must test those with the rare exemption twice weekly.

Some have said they want to “wait and see” to ensure longer-term evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe. However, on Monday, the FDA fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for people 16 and older. This approval is an important milestone that should give everyone the confidence they were waiting for to get vaccinated. If a community member has not received their COVID-19 vaccine, we encourage them to talk with their doctor if they have questions or concerns.

The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective and significantly lower the risk of complications, hospitalization and death from the disease. Combined with the infection prevention strategies of masking, physical distancing, washing hands and disinfecting surfaces, getting vaccinated protects ourselves and each other.

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COVID-19 vaccination appointments and walk-in clinics can be found at

www.mcvaccinate.com and www.myturn.ca.gov.

ABOUT MONTAGE HEALTH

Montage Health is the nonprofit parent company of a family of organizations dedicated to improving lives by delivering exceptional care and inspiring the pursuit of optimal health. Through its subsidiaries and its partnerships with doctors and other clinicians, healthcare and community organizations, and, most importantly community members, Montage Health is dedicated to care that is coordinated across all care settings to meet each person’s goals and needs. Montage Health’s family of companies includes Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Montage Medical Group, MoGo Urgent Care, Aspire Health, Montage Health Foundation, and Montage Wellness Center.

ABOUT NATIVIDAD

Natividad is hospital and trauma center providing compassionate high-quality health care to everyone, regardless of ability to pay. Located in Salinas, Calif., Natividad is a public health care system offering a wide range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency, diagnostic and specialty medical care for adults and children. Founded in 1886, the 172-bed medical center has more than 10,000 admissions and nearly 50,000 emergency visits annually. Home to the area's only Level II Trauma Center, the hospital's specialized personnel, equipment and services provide a vital local community service that saves lives and keeps patients close to home. Natividad's Baby-Friendly® facility delivers 2,200 babies every year and is affiliated with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals. It also operates an accredited Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, giving the tiniest and most fragile babies — some as small as one pound — the best chance for a healthy start. Through its UCSF-affiliated Natividad Family Medicine Residency, Natividad is the only teaching hospital on the Central Coast. For more information, please call (831) 755-4111 or visit www.natividad.com.

ABOUT SALINAS VALLEY MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS) is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the region through an integrated network of health care initiatives, services and facilities. In addition to an acute care, public district hospital licensed for 263 beds, the system includes Salinas Valley Medical Clinic, a multi-location clinic expanding access to primary and specialty care, and offers 13 urgent care locations. SVMHS is one of the area’s largest employers with a staff of more than 2000, and is a leader in providing nationally recognized quality care. Collaboration is an important operating principle for SVMHS in such key areas as our Level III NICU which is operated in a joint venture with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford; The Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes, partnership with UCSF; Aspire Health Plan, Monterey County’s only Medicare Advantage program; Community Health Innovations and Blue Zones Project Monterey County, building a community where people live longer and live heathier. For more information, visit www.svmh.com.

ABOUT MEE MEMORIAL HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

At Mee Memorial, our highest priority is to serve the healthcare needs of our community. This includes offering an extensive array of services with a commitment to the highest possible standards, the best available technology, and the care of skilled healthcare professionals.

The Mee network includes a hospital in King City including emergency services, 25 acute care beds and 48 skilled nursing beds, and three comprehensive outpatient clinics; two adjacent to the hospital (Adult Medicine and the King City Clinic, for Internal, Pain and Family Medicine) and the Albert and Donna Oliveira Clinic, a full-service, primary care facility in the city of Greenfield. MMHS is the primary healthcare organization serving the rural communities of Southern Monterey County. Overall, our healthcare professionals serve a population of nearly 70,000 within an area spanning over 55 miles between the agricultural communities of Soledad to Bradley.

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