Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System (Winnebago Tribe)
Posted: August 24, 2021

Danelle Smith, Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System Chief Executive Officer, receives a COVID-19 vaccine dose. Photo: WCHS

For Immediate Release – August 24, 2021

Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System Requires All Employees to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19 

Winnebago, Nebraska – Winnebago Comprehensive Healthcare System (WCHS), a tribally-operated healthcare facility comprised of Twelve Clans Unity Hospital and the Winnebago Public Health Department, will require all employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1st, 2021. This policy will be implemented to protect the health and safety of our staff and patients.

“This important decision was carefully considered by our organization’s leaders and Board of Directors. COVID-19 vaccines are our best defense. They are a safe and effective tool to help protect against severe disease and death from COVID-19 and its variants. We serve a population that is a greater risk from severe illness due to COVID-19. This new policy aligns with our mission to improve the well-being of the community by providing patient-centered health care,” said Danelle Smith, WCHS Chief Executive Officer.

WCHS is made up of approximately 345 employees. Currently, 85% of employees have been vaccinated and 73% of the Winnebago Community has been vaccinated. Employees have until October 1st, 2021 to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. Any employee who does not comply will be subject to termination unless they meet a medical or religious exemption. The enforcement of this policy will be consistent with ALL employees regardless of position.

Weekly COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination clinics will continue to be available in Winnebago for anyone 12 years old and up. Vaccination appointments can be made by calling (402) 878-2258.  Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee), for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. 


About: WCHS is operated by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska and consists of two divisions. Twelve Clans Unity Hospital is a 13-bed state-of-the-art healthcare facility that serves an estimated 10,000 Native Americans who live on the Winnebago Reservation and in the surrounding region. Healthcare services provided by the hospital include an outpatient clinic, inpatient care, pharmacy, radiology, emergency care, medical laboratory, physical therapy, social services, and more. The Winnebago Public Health Department strives to create and maintain a healthy community by providing a wide range of total health and wellness programs. These programs include physical, mental, safety, and social services that benefit the Winnebago community.

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