As COVID-19 infection rates continue to rise in Bennington County, United Counseling Service (UCS) announced it will require all employees, interns, and volunteers to be fully vaccinated by November 1, 2021, unless exempted due to medical or religious reasons. The community behavioral health center which employs approximately 300 people and serves over 3,000 individuals per year, is a large employer in the county and one of the first to mandate the vaccine.
“As a member of the health care community, it is our responsibility to ensure that our clients are provided with the best possible care in the safest environment”, said Lorna Mattern, Executive Director of UCS. “Over the past few weeks, we have worked to educate our staff and encourage them to protect themselves, their coworkers, clients and family members through vaccination. We held several open forums to address any questions staff may have had”.
The vaccination mandate has been fully supported by the Board of Directors and senior leadership and is based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vermont Department of Health (VDOH), and other public health and licensing authorities. “As a health care provider, we take our responsibility to keep our community safe seriously and we hope other employers follow our lead,” added Mattern.
United Counseling Service provides outpatient counseling and addictions services, emergency mental health services, extensive rehabilitation services, home and school-based services, employment services for people recovering from mental illness or with developmental disabilities and Early Childhood Services. For more information visit ucsvt.org or call 802.442.5491.