A Salem, OR, senior living recruiter’s viral Tik Tok video appealing to unvaccinated caregivers is a “distraction” that has been “detrimental to serving the needs of our residents,” according to the hiring operator.
Shayna Hall, a recruiter for Bonaventure Senior Living, posted a video in July that went viral after she announced that she would hire unvaccinated nurses, caregivers and med techs who were “unjustly fired” or forced out of their jobs for refusing a COVID-19 vaccine. A company representative quoted in the Salem Reporter appeared to support the recruiter’s actions and called vaccine mandates an “ethical issue” with “significant legal ramifications.”
Bonaventure, which operates 26 senior living communities across Oregon, Colorado and Washington state, came under intense public scrutiny over the post, but the company has disavowed the video and said the “opinions of individual employees do not reflect Bonaventure’s policies, values or efforts.”
“It is unfortunate that the opinions of one employee — with less than three months of employment — has undermined the efforts of the Bonaventure team,” a statement provided to McKnight’s Senior Living from the company read. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our mission of ‘Retirement Perfected’ remains unchanged.”
The company stated that it has “strongly encouraged” all residents and employees to get vaccinated since the COVID-19 vaccines first became available, adding that Bonaventure was one of the first senior living companies to register and coordinate on-site vaccine clinics.
“We worked tirelessly to ensure that every resident and team member who wanted the vaccine received one,” the statement read. “We continue to strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccines for all team members and residents. We believe the vaccines are safe and effective.”
The company said that the steps it is taking to encourage unvaccinated employees include weekly education about vaccine safety and efficacy, daily emails with answers to frequently asked questions, information through the human resources software, reimbursement for vaccine-related travel expenses, one-on-one conversations with vaccine-hesitant staff, and informational posters explaining the benefits of vaccination.
Bonaventure employment ads also include statements that all candidates must be vaccinated or willing to be vaccinated. The company does not have a vaccine mandate, but communities in Oregon and Washington state must comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates for healthcare workers announced by the governors.
The provider said it also continues to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing of all workers and ensures all employees have the appropriate personal protective equipment.
In Aug. 18 social media posts, the company said its leadership teams have been the subject of libelous personal attacks and “this distraction has been detrimental to serving the needs of our residents.” The post went on to say that the portrayal of the company as being anti-vaccine “could not be further from the truth.”