Baptist Health Madisonville Employees Willing to Walk Out Over Covid Vaccine Requirement

Controversy is brewing after one local health provider outlines their new vaccine mandates. Now some employees of Baptist Health Madisonville are protesting.

Posted: Aug 4, 2021 6:12 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2021 7:50 AM

An email was sent to Baptist Health Madisonville employees Monday.

It reads in part that all employees must get the Covid-19 vaccine by September 15th or face termination by the end of October.

For 28-year-old nurse Kenzie Taylor, who has spent her entire adult nursing career at the hospital, she believes the vaccines are still too new to be safe.

"They basically just said, 'Here's what we're going to do, you can take it or leave it,'" she said. "How do they have the right to tell me what I have to do whenever I am the one that's got myself where I'm at. You know I had a dream as a little girl to be a nurse and I put myself through college and did everything I had too. And now they're telling me if I don't get a vaccine that's not FDA approved at the time of the mandating at our facility, then I'll be terminated."

Baptist Health Madisonville tells 44News while 65 to 70 percent of the 23,000 employees throughout their Kentucky and Indiana locations have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the deadly delta variant has pushed them to make the vaccine an employment requirement.

Taylor, is so passionate about not being forced to be vaccinated, that she took to social media, creating a petition against the health system. It's garnered thousands of signatures in just under 24 hours.

"I actually cried because I didn't realize how many people it means too," Taylor said.

And she is not alone. Fellow nurse Kristen Folk joined health care workers at a protest at the Baptist Health in Elizabethtown Wednesday morning on her day off.

"There were even staff members coming out of the hospital I'm assuming on their break," she said. "To you know show their support."

And while these nurses want to keep their jobs, they are willing to lose them for what they believe is right.

"It's unfortunate that several of us may be looking for different careers," Folk said. "Not just different jobs, because we may not be able to work at a different health care facility. We may not be able to work in health care at all."

"I'm going to stand up for those who can't," Taylor said. "Those who are forced in this situation and I'm going to do everything I can for them. Even if that means facing termination."

A rally protesting the vaccine requirement will take place 2 p.m. on Saturday outside the Hopkins County Courthouse in Madisonville.

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