FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A letter from the UAMS Chancellor, Dr. Cam Patterson, urged all employees to help comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Dr. Patterson stated that failure to comply could result in fines and the loss of CMS funding worth more than $600 million per year.
Dr. Patterson’s letter to UAMS team members referred to a ruling made earlier this month requiring that employees at all hospitals and health care institutions across the country be fully vacinated by January 4, 2022.
The letter acknowledged “a very difficult situation,” but stated that the loss of that money would force UAMS to close programs “in all mission areas.”
Dr. Patterson told UAMS team members that they are all valued, regardless of personal stances on the vaccine, but noncompliance with the CMS rule would result in a loss of nearly 60% of total funding for UAMS.
He noted that this would affect UAMS’ “ability to provide unique patient care programs, train tomorrow’s health care professionals and search for cures in our laboratories,” and said that the results would be “devastating to the heath and health care of our state.”
The memo continued by stating that all employees are required to receive at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by December 5. Those employees seeking a religious or medical exemption must submit the appropriate paperwork by November 23.
The letter noted that “the majority of UAMS employees are already fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and many also received booster shots.”