Legal challenge involves southern Ill. hospital group and its COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - A legal challenge involves one of the largest medical groups in southern Illinois.

At issue, whether Southern Illinois Healthcare did not allow some employees to use the religious exemption to not getting vaccinated.

SIH received a 14-page letter on Wednesday, September 22 from a non-profit religious liberty organization called Liberty Counsel.

The letter claims seven SIH employees did not get religious exemptions, even though the group’s vice president for legal affairs says they should have received one.

We asked Roger Gannam about the SIH employees they represent.

“And we should tell you that around the country, and in one of our other litigations, we’ve collected affidavits from employees in every corner of the country, who are patient facing and they’re being able to continue working by following other safety measures,” said Roger Gannam, assistant vice president of legal affairs at Liberty Counsel.

SIH issued this statement in response to the letter:

“A panel of physicians and other experts, including spiritual care, reviewed each application for medical and religious exemption in its entirety with the utmost respect. While not everyone who applied received an exemption, SIH did grant medical and religious exemptions during this rigorous review process.”

Gannam said if SIH does not comply, he will meet with his clients on what happens next.

Under SIH COVID-19 policy all employees must be fully vaccinated by November 8.

The entire letter can be found on the liberty counsel website.

A legal challenge involving one of the largest Hospital groups and its Covid Vaccine Mandate.
A legal challenge involving one of the largest Hospital groups and its Covid Vaccine Mandate.(Colin Baillie)

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