Thresholds Announces Successful COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
More than 96% of staff are vaccinated, those with exemptions testing weekly
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Emily Moen, 773-572-5172
Chicago, IL, December 8—Thresholds is pleased to announce a major step forward in protecting their clients, staff, and communities at large. Their successful mandatory vaccination policy, announced in late August and officially taking effect on November 1, 2021, has been an enormous success.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been very difficult for everyone, and has had a particularly disparate effect on vulnerable populations and those in high-exposure jobs, including healthcare.
On August 24, 2021, Thresholds announced a mandatory vaccination policy for their 1,180 employees that would officially take effect on November 1. Thresholds estimates that vaccination rates among their staff were around 70% at the time of the policy announcement. As of December 1, 2021, Thresholds’ vaccination rate is 96%, 3% of employees have approved medical or religious exemptions and are required to be tested weekly, and 1% of employees are in the process of vaccination while testing weekly or on leave for unrelated reasons.
Thresholds’ policy requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with an approved vaccine, or obtain an approved religious or medical exemption. Employees with approved exemptions are required to submit COVID-19 test results weekly. All full-time and part-time employees, as well as consultants, independent contractors, temporary workers, interns, and volunteers working at Thresholds are covered by the policy, regardless of their job position.
Thresholds’ policy resulted in only 3 voluntary resignations in which the mandatory vaccination policy was cited as a reason for resignation, and 6 involuntary separations for failure to comply. Thresholds’ workforce includes 1,177 covered individuals. The pace of recruitment and hiring has remained steady since the policy was implemented.
“We believe that vaccination policies like ours are a key step in ensuring a safe workplace for us all and bringing an end to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark Ishaug, Thresholds CEO. “I’m proud that we were early to implement the policy, and proud of our staff for their dedication to keeping our clients and their communities safe.”
“I’m very proud of how our staff has managed the launch and roll out of this policy. Success required the dedication of dozens of leaders throughout the agency. We know many people were struggling with the decision to get vaccinated. The entire team at Thresholds set a high standard for transparency, building buy-in, and communicating with compassion as we navigated this new policy together and helped people get more comfortable with the decision to be vaccinated,” said Mark Furlong, Chief Operating Officer.
Thresholds utilized a cross-departmental team led by their Talent department, which oversees human resources, employee relations, and recruitment at the agency. The cross-departmental team met every day for months to ensure that the process of implementing the policy was thoughtful, fair, and interactive. The policy’s success not only greatly increases safety throughout the agency, it helps to reduce staffing issues surrounding time spent on contact tracing and lost productivity due to illness and employee quarantines.
“Implementing a policy like this is not a small task, and we know that other organizations are facing a similar challenge, but it’s been worth the effort,” said Chris Noone, Chief Talent Officer. “We know that it is the right thing to do. I’m so proud to take this step as an organization and help set an early standard in our sector – vaccination only works when it is a true community effort.”
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About Thresholds: Thresholds is one of Illinois’ largest and oldest providers of mental health and substance use treatment. Thresholds provides innovative behavioral and primary healthcare that promotes empowerment, well-being, and full participation in community life. Through unwavering community-based engagement, support, and advocacy, Thresholds helps people living with mental health and substance use conditions find home, health, and hope. Learn more at www.thresholds.org.
For more information, please contact Emily Moen, VP Public Relations and Marketing, 773-572-5172