COVID-19 Update

HCRS Providers are 100% Fully Vaccinated

Health Care and Rehabilitation Services (HCRS), announced today that all of their employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A vaccine requirement was implemented at the agency as of December 1, 2021, and all of their current staff have complied.

As a health care organization serving a vulnerable population, many of the people the agency supports are at much greater risk for severe illness. Since the pandemic arrived in early 2020, HCRS’ primary goal has been to do as much as possible to protect their workforce, the thousands of clients served each year, as well as have a positive impact on all communities across southeastern Vermont.

Staffing was another consideration. According to Anne Bilodeau, HCRS’ Interim Co-Executive Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer, “Vermont’s staffing crisis has put a serious strain on our ability to appropriately staff our programs. As required by the Vermont Department of Health and encompassed within our COVID-19 protocols, staff are unable to come into their worksite if they have any symptoms of a contagious illness. Our vaccine requirement, along with staff incentives for the flu vaccine, are helping us ensure that we can continue to provide services every day.”

Dr. Kathleen McGraw, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Medical Information Officer at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and member of HCRS’ Board of Directors states, “We recognize the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters as two of our main tools against this sometimes deadly virus. Obtaining protection for yourself, your family and loved ones, and those who are unable to protect themselves should be a top priority.”

Bilodeau adds, “We are very pleased to be able to share that all 472 of our dedicated and professional staff are fully vaccinated. Anyone seeking mental health, substance use, or developmental disability services can reach out to us for support without fear of meeting with a provider who is not vaccinated. We are here for our communities and will continue to do all we can to support them.” Less than 0.5% of the agency’s workforce opted to leave at the end of November, rather than be vaccinated.

The agency hosted three free COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the community last fall in Brattleboro, Springfield, and Hartford in partnership with Rescue, Inc. Raffle prizes were provided at each location in order to encourage vaccination.