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‘Get the vaccine or lose your job’ – Some Colorado health care workers refusing COVID vaccination

PROWERS COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- Health care workers choosing to go unvaccinated currently face an uncertain future. The Colorado Board of Health's Vaccine mandate requires health care workers to receive their first dose of the vaccine by Thursday. Yet multiple health care workers tell 13 Investigates they still won't get the vaccine.

According to a letter from administrators, employees at Prowers Medical Center (PMC) in Lamar were told they were supposed to get vaccinated by September 30 or they'd be fired. After a Board of Directors public meeting, the hospital has extended the deadline to the end of October. Unvaccinated employees at PMC still feel that their jobs are in jeopardy.

“The reality is you get the vaccine or you lose your job," says Shelby Casper, a family nurse practitioner at PMC for the last three years.

Connie Gangwish (Top Left), Shelby Casper (Bottom Left),
Colby Cain (Bottom Right)

Casper says she is choosing to go unvaccinated, but she is not an opponent of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"As a medical provider, I do think there is a time and a place for this vaccine. I personally have chosen not to get the vaccine cause I have had COVID-19,” said Casper.

Then there is Colby Cain, a part-time registered nurse covering the night shift about twice a week. Cain is also going without the vaccine and doesn't know if she'll have a job by November.

“It comes with a very hard decision cause I do have a family to take care of. I have a 9-month-old son. I don’t know how he is going to get taken care of if I don’t have a job,” said Cain.

At the public board meeting on Wednesday, PMC's Board of Directors told a crowd of dozens that they couldn't afford to ignore state law and ignore the state board of health's mandate.

"Our number one priority is to make sure we have a hospital, and that we continue to have a license. We can’t put that in jeopardy," said Jacob Chamberlain, a Prowers Medical Center Board member.

PMC CEO Karen Bryant did provide KRDO a statement in regards to their decision to enforce the mandate within their hospital.

“The Administrative Team and Board of Directors at Prowers Medical Center are sensitive to the concerns being expressed by our staff and the citizens of Prowers County in relation to the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates.  As a licensed healthcare facility, we intend to operate under and fully comply with the State and Federal vaccine mandate requirements," Bryant's statement said.

According to PMC's Board of Directors, 23 employees at the Lamar hospital applied for a medical or religious exemption to the COVID vaccine. Only one was granted. In a letter to employees at the hospital, the exemption requests were denied by a 'panel, and when those decisions were made, the rejection letters cited the science-based evidence and the medical professional associations that negated the claims made by the employees'.

Connie Gangwish was one of those employees that received a rejection letter after applying for a religious exemption.

“[The letter said] I would be a hindrance to the company and put other people at risk. I wouldn’t be safe,” said Gangwish, a veteran of PMC for more than a decade.

PMC Emergency Room Nurse Anna Ross is vaccinated, but she fears for the hospital's future with the mandate. Ross says her unvaccinated co-workers should have a right to choose or the hospital risks serious staffing shortages.

“We are at risk of losing our entire OBGYN Department," said Ross. "That puts the mother at risk. That puts the child at risk. That puts me at risk, and my coworkers who don’t have a whole lot of experience with that.” 

During Wednesday night's board meeting, PMC board members said making vaccines mandatory for their employees was never their first choice, but the risk of losing a license on top of losing out on federal funds from Medicaid and Medicare is not a viable option.

 

 

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Dan Beedie

Dan is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about Dan here.

Comments

89 Comments

  1. “but the risk of losing a license on top of losing out on federal funds from Medicaid and Medicare is not a viable option.”
    .
    Oh, I see. It’s about money and not health or safety.

      1. Which begs the question to you Reality heck, ho much are you getting paid to comment on every covid article everyday?

        1. Zero. I have a conscience, and I can’t sit by and watch people knowingly spread false information.

  2. It’s a whole lot more than the medical field being forced to take the mark of Biden or be unemployed. It doesn’t make sense why those working remotely have to be marked under OSHA rules. How someone can expose his coworkers to COVID across the internet brings an engineered biological virus to a whole new level.

    1. Vaccination can help remote workers fend off Covid and minimize downtime and medical costs. Unless you’re living in a completely sterile bubble . . .

      1. OSHA is about workplace hazards like needing hearing protection and eye goggles not forcing vaccinations upon someone who is not exposed to any other fellow workers.

      2. HOW If they AREN’T Exposed to another person so ‘infected’?? you come off like a Leftist Apologist, most of the time, instead of offering LOGIC and TRUE science.

        1. If you read carefully, I said that it helps you fend off infections, not necessarily from coworkers, but from other people you meet in your life. And if you prevent an infection of yourself, it saves your company the downtime of you, if your uptime is worth anything. Don’t try to read things I don’t say.

          1. That POST, Has NOTHING Intimating “from other people you meet in your life.” It is ‘you’ who Writes ” things you don’t/DIDN’T say”! The FIRST Time. I nor others Can READ what you Don’t “say”, so Obvious you Wrote a INCORRECT, Incomplete ‘thing’ and now are trying to PLACE BLAME ON OTHERS For your MISTAKE. You behave as badly as any hypocrite I’ve ever seen. Should have NOT Attacked, but TRIED TO CORRECT ‘yourself’. “tell us some more lies, daddy reality-check!”

          2. I did not make a mistake because I did not restrict it to coworkers. It was plain and simple, but because you can’t comprehend plain English, you try to blame others for your own shortcomings.

          3. Just curious, RC, why do you bother arguing, day after day, article after article, with folks whose tiny brains are locked inside one way barriers? You’d be better off arguing with a wooden table. At least it wouldn’t talk back. Most of us know that science is real. We understand why the sun comes up in the morning, we understand that people who make their living taking care of other people’s health must be held to the highest standard. Nothing you or I or anyone else say or do will convince these Covidiots to think of others, not even their own loved ones. I’m sorry to say, you are wasting your time. If you have information to share, great. Share it with the community at large. The more you engage with these mental mushrooms the more you encourage them. Shameful that the site allows such misinformation to be posted at all. Just saying. (Expecting this comment to be censored, but I am keeping a record.)

          4. If my persistence changes the mind of a single mental mushroom, it will be worth the effort, because it may end up saving a life.

      1. But if we were to read “things not ACTUALLY in place” we’d be living a 2021 version of NAZI Germany, but World Wide! The Elites, we helped into power, think everyone is just SO Stupid to Believe their Propaganda as RC seems to and Repeats to those of us with still functional thoughts.

        1. Get off your high horse and read what’s there, not what you would like to see there.

  3. “As a medical provider, I do think there is a time and a place for this vaccine. I personally have chosen not to get the vaccine cause I have had COVID-19,” said Casper.
    .
    Then she ought to know that having Covic-19 doesn’t protect the person as well as a vaccination. And people who have had Covid get an excellent level of protection when vaccinated afterwards.

    1. Ummm have you actually looked into the latest science. People who have had covid have better longer lasting antibodies than what the shot gives. In the full spectrum of the virus the shot only covers 85% of the necessary antibodies. Having covid your body has 100% of the spectrum of antibodies. This is why people who have had the shot can still get covid and transmit it to others. They have breakthrough cases because the shot does not cover the full virus. They have exposed people who already had covid to covid again and they do not get sick and they do not transmit it to others as the antibodies shut it down as soon as it enters the body. This is why many medical professionals do not feel it necessary to the the shot after having covid. Because they know and understand this more so than the general population.

      1. If you actually read the latest scientific test results, you’ll find that people who have been infected with Covid are far more likely to become infected again than people who have been fully vaccinated. Statistical studies have shown that. Anything talking about the “spectrum of antibodies” is only speculative about reinfections rates, whereas the facts about reinfection rates don’t lie. And people who have been infected AND then vaccinated have the least chance of becoming reinfected.

        1. Where are you getting you information? There was a Nebraska study that is not correct that Google puts at the top. But the rest of the data from many countries and other universities show:
          Conclusions: This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity. Individuals who were both previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and given a single dose of the vaccine gained additional protection.
          And yes you have a bit more protection if you have natural immunity and the shot. But you can also be subject to the blood clots and other possible side affects of the shot. If it is not needed then why get it? Be like getting the chicken pox vaccine after having the pox when you were younger.(difference is the chicken pox vaccine actually works all the time)

          1. The Chicken Pox Vaccine is 90% effective. Chicken pox has ALMOST been eliminated. Cases flare up from time-to-time. Even today. Get off the Dark Web and Fox News, and triangulate your data, and your sources. Anyone can have a website. Even you.

        2. Source plz! As a matter of fact I don’t think you’ve ever posted an actual source of your meaningless gibberish

          1. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7032e1.htm
            .
            Being unvaccinated was a s s ociated with 2.34 times the odds of reinfection compared with being fully vaccinated. Reinfection, by definition, means that they have previously been infected.
            .
            This is just one source. Since you’re the one posting gibberish, you obviously don’t have a access to all the medical journals that I do.

        3. Did you read the whole study or just picked out a small result?
          “A case-patient was defined as a Kentucky resident with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in 2020 and a subsequent positive NAAT or antigen test result during May 1–June 30, 2021”
          So the antigen test also show previous infection and not a definitive subsequent infection. The antigen test has been shown to only be 80% correct. There are many false positives especially in patients with a previous infection.
          It is a wacked out study in an attempt to bolster vaccine confidence. The other fun part is the vaccine can also disrupt the antigen test giving false negatives. So the study you posted has a very wide degree of error @ssociated with it.

        4. how do you know if you are positive and shedding this virus if the shot makes you asymptomatic?

    2. Wow! You just keep spewing your lying dribble. Some people will do anything for money.

    3. Yet those Vaccinated are Carrying as High or Higher VIRAL LOADS than those who Have RECOVERED From covid, with FEWER covid-Recovered suffering “breakthrough” cases than those Vaccinated. Pandering garbage, again.

      1. Not quite. The viral load represents the amount of virus people carry at any given time, and all infected people carry approximately the same viral load as other infected people. Once recovered, a person carries essentially no load unless they become infected again. Since vaccinated people are shown to recover more quickly on the whole, and are less likely to be reinfected, their average viral load is less that the average unvaccinated individual.

        1. Yet it’s been shown that the asymptomatic are less likely to spread this virus than those showing the SIGNS, like The Breakthrough Cases of The Fully Vaccinated, and don’t bother repeating the LIE otherwise, because it Doesn’t Fly Straight & True, instead CRASHES in Flames.

          1. It has NOT been shown that symptomatic people are less likely to spread the virus. They carry the same viral load as symptomatic people. Juts because you disagree or don’t understand it doesn’t change the facts.

    4. You really should research at least a little before you post. Even a minimal search of scientific journals will provide studies that have proven people who have had covid have stronger, longer lasting antibodies than those who have been vaccinated. Stop coming in here and just repeating what you hear from your master Biden and Fauci.

      1. I’ll repeat what Dr. Fauci says if it will help get the message across. What your state has not been proven in any reputable studies.

        1. Only Leftists supposedly believe Anything Faux Fauci “says”. Way too many flip-flops

          1. Dr. Fauci reacts to new data as any credible scientist would. If you interpret that as “flip-flops” it’s because you don’t fully understand the science behind it.

      2. If those who desire to CONTROL Doesn’t place the information out there RC hasn’t any interest in it.

  4. It’s absolutely insane that people are willing to stoop to extortion like this to force other people to inject unwanted chemicals into their bodies.

    1. They still have a choice. But I don’t want unvaccinated people treating my family.

        1. Because not all my family members are yet eligible to be vaccinated. I don’t just think of myself all the time like you apparently do.

          1. So this would be kids who are not eligible?….. So you are worried about the kids who have a less than .0004% of being killed by it and 99.9% get covid and have very small or no symptoms at all…..
            In Colorado since the beginning of the pandemic 21 kids have died. 98% were immuno compromised or had a severe pre existing condition where death would of happened within the next several months anyways. Not 1 healthy kid has died of covid in Colorado since the beginning. But yet you are still so afraid…. why?

          2. “I don’t just think of myself all the time like you apparently do.”

            LIAR….. You are such a liar.

          3. TO “KOLLEGEUNEDUCTEDLIB”: YOU CAN DISAGREE WITH ME, BUT DON’T CALL ME A LIAR. I’M JUST TELLING THE TRUTH.
            .
            And to “Viral Thoughts”: I’m concerned about any children dying unnecessarily, just as I’m concerned about any adults dying. Statistics can only show what has happened in the past. They don’t necessarily accurately predict the future.

          4. You only leave the Rote Line ‘information’ from the Left, never Anything in opposition TO that, so with A Single View, we can see the Nice Collaborator.

        2. They have to have someone to blame for them still getting sick even with their clot shot.

      1. Coercion is STILL Force. I relish the challenges, Invite them on occasion. Ever heard of Desensitization?

  5. Good for the healthcare system. If they don’t want to get the vaccine let them start their own healthcare system. Start firing them all.

    1. Good suggestion. There are sufficient numbers of ignorant people to provide them with some business for a short while.

      1. And those who have stronger immune systems will out last those who’s Fail The Next REAL, Not Man-Made infections.

          1. Yet most everyone NOW THINKS it was. You won’t read/listen to any experts Outside of your paradime, so reporting that the expert who said that there were like 15 ‘generations’ from the original virus origins in the cave of bats, that were NOT Natural, would be pointless to inform you.

          2. No, but people with open minds are still open to change if someone presents evidence. But to date there has been no definitive evidence whatsoever.
            .
            You lack of English comprehension obviously hinders your understanding. And don’t use big words you don’t even know how to spell, like PARADIGM.

    2. Cool Then you go to the hospital after a car wreck but they are short staffed and so you get the rookie doctor and no experience nurse. Have to wait hours before being seen/cared for… Sounds like a win for you eh? Ooooo wait just 2 months ago the same working nurse and doctor who didn’t have the shot was just fine for the years we have been dealing with the pandemic but now needs to be fired. Brilliant…..SMH

    3. But people like you and RC just CAN’T Let people HAVE that FREE WILL CHOICE! Hence “Mandates”

  6. People who have gotten the covid have developed natural immunity equal to or better than any vacc*ine, they should not be required to receive the vacc*ine.

    1. Why are they so desperate to get this stuff in everyones body including those who do not need it.

      1. No one should trust Biden the demented fraud puppet or the radical marxist Democrats that now occupy our government. They are on a mission to destroy america.

        1. But, sadly, there are way too many willing to Not Question ‘them’. Even GOD permitted Himself to be Questioned, but funny enough HIS Fallen angel Won’t.

      2. “Why are they so desperate to get this stuff in everyones body including those who do not need it.”

        Yes, this is as concerning as any other aspect of the plandemic.Did you see this new article on this site about the HHS admitting they are resorting to fear tactics to push the shot??

      1. CDC, The same CDC where the LA teacher’s union influenced the CDC guidelines for reopening schools. Yea, sure the CDC can be trusted. I’m sure you’re still trusting Fauci who has lied multiple times as well.

        1. Because it doesn’t reduce the chance of becoming reinfected to zero. It LOWERS the chances by a factor of 2.34. I guess you didn’t do well at math, right?

      2. you Can take comfort in repeating False Information, that others here, won’t take as a gospel.

  7. Hold strong, this only lasts a little while! The system will collapse if even only 10% refuse. Every employer in the nation is desperate for employees. Wait until 10-20% get fired. 10-20% medical, cops, military, state patrol, CNAs, firefighters, truck drivers, manufactures……..understand the system cannot function without the whole. As you see already extended deadline, already talk of closing services. The more that refuse the more difficult enforcement becomes. Everybody will suffer, the only ones responsible are our tyrannical president and governor. This had been going on for almost 2 years , the RBI’s not some suddenly imperative everybody gets vaccinated. This is about coercion and submission, period!

  8. I like how the “we’ll activate the Nat Guard”, you’re joking right? The National guard is gonna fill in for every missing employee? That’s laughable at best. Oh and in case you didn’t know- they’re all reservists, so then who’s gonna do their normal job, another Nat guardsman??? What a joke! Lastly – what should concern every America besides the loss of freedom, is that these people were heros just 9 months ago, now your are cheering their terminations. That’s sounds OK to you? Huh, sounds kinda similar to another country around 70 years ago!

    1. when they start placing the military in our hospitals and schools, that doesn’t look like AMERICA to me anymore..

  9. OK so wait.
    #1: One reason is that they are concerned the worker may get covid and be out/not able to come to work. If you fire them for not being vaccinated they can’t come to work either. huh
    #2: If the goal is to prevent the spread by a worker….. then why not do testing for everyone, vaccinated or not since you can have covid and spread it even if you are vaccinated…
    How does any of this make sense??????

    1. Recall how people used to work through their illnesses, knowing the work HAD to be done or The Company would fall short of The Goal? Only Slaves will be forced to work sick. Once ‘they’ Reach ‘their’ Goals, Know what Will Happen to those peons left.

  10. This is yet another example of how the left will use any opportunity to make those that don’t agree with them appear to be the enemy.

  11. I still can’t figure out why having a fully functioning immune system makes you an enemy. All these unhealthy people just can’t stand the fact that there are people who have taken care of their immune system and just don’t get sick and do not need a boost to their immune system.

    1. That would require the use of Un-Tainted Science practices, not the ‘influence results’ kind.

  12. Seems simple…if you work for someone you follow their rules. If you don’t like it start your own business and shut up. Fire them all if they don’t get the vaccine.

  13. I’m glad you are weeding them out. I for one don’t want any of them to treat me. I want people that believe in modern medicine and science not someone who feel the need to balance your humors using horse dewormer.

  14. 85 Comments. Mostly BS. Krdo has a serious moderation problem. Reporting, with records.

  15. I skimmed through the comments and didn’t see anyone ask the question, WHY are medical professional’s refusing the shot? I do agree with most that you can’t trust Fraudci or the CDC as they have become a cesspool of false and misleading information. But back to my question, why are medical professional’s refusing the shot? This isn’t only in Prowers county, but all over the U.S.

  16. There are people out there who have taken care of their health so their immune system is working fine and do not need a booster for help. There are people out there who have not spent their lives shoveling cheetos and fruit loops into their mouths and washing them down with soda. These people know who they are these people need the shot.

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