COVID vaccine in hands of caregiver

Enlivant and Sunrise Senior Living will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.

They join a growing list of senior living operators, among them ALG Senior, Atria Senior Living, Civitas Senior Living, Juniper Communities and Silverado, in announcing such policies.

Enlivant President and Chief Operating Officer Dan Guill told McKnight’s Senior Living that the company has communicated a goal to employees that they be vaccinated by June 1. 

“There obviously are nuances to work through, but we are going to work with everybody who can and should be vaccinated,” he said. “We realize it’s a deeply personal experience, but we believe that vaccination is probably the best thing that we can do to ensure safety, especially after seeing what happened in the last year.”

As of March 3, approximately 80% of staff members and residents were vaccinated, Guill said.

Guill will become CEO of Chicago-based Enlivant on April 1, succeeding Jack Callison, who will become CEO of Sunrise Senior Living on the same day.

In a blog posted Tuesday, Sunrise Chief Operating Officer Jenifer Salamino and Chief Clinical Officer Sue Coppola said that the McLean, VA-based company will require that all employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than July 31.

“This decision was made carefully with advice from public health officials to promote the safety of everyone in our community,” they wrote. “Simply put, increasing vaccination rates is our best path forward to bring back more normalcy into our residents’ day-to-day lives.”

Sunrise considers the vaccinations to be “a required and essential job function” for existing and new workers, subject to applicable laws and company policies, Salamino and Coppola said.

Vaccinated workers at the company have received a paid “Day of Gratitude.” The company declined to share the percentage of workers who have been vaccinated to date.

Sunrise is No. 5 on the 2020 ASHA 50 list of largest senior living operators by the American Seniors Housing Association, and Enlivant is No. 10. On Argentum’s 2020 list of largest senior living providers, Sunrise and Enlivant are No. 5 and 11, respectively.

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