INDIANAPOLIS — Last week, it was announced that all employees with Indiana University Health will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or risk losing their jobs.
Traci Staley, who is a Quality Expert for IU Health, started a Facebook group called Indiana Against the Mandate shortly after receiving the email from her employer.
The group has grown to more than 5,000 members.
“Our overall goal started as getting IU to rescind this mandate,” Staley said.
The group includes front line workers like nurse, Kasey Ladig. Ladig said she was very surprised when IU Health announced the requirement.
“Initially I was taken off guard. I kind of felt, somebody said it best, we were once essential and now we are disposable,” Ladig said.
Since the vaccines became available, IU Health has encouraged their front line workers and other employees to get vaccinated. Staley said she has not felt comfortable getting the shots.
“I don’t feel safe I don’t feel like this is safe."
Staley and Ladig are both part of an organized peaceful protest happening on Saturday. Demonstrators are gathering outside of IU Health’s Fairbanks Hall on the canal in downtown Indianapolis at 3 p.m.
Ladig will be speaking at the event and explained she plans to talk about IU Health’s values and her experience working for the healthcare system for the past four years.
“I do love IU Health, it’s been a love of mine they’ve helped me grow as a nurse,” Ladig said. “I have a lot of positives to say about IU Health, not slamming them, but this is something where they should really listen to their team members and trust us on, they trust us with the lives of their patients. Trust us with this.”
Ladig said her opinion is an unpopular one and many of her coworkers are in support of the mandate and the COVID-19 vaccines. But she and others protesting feel it should be their choice.
While Ladig will be protesting specifically against IU Health’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate at Saturday’s demonstration, Staley said many are protesting against a broader cause.
“Our goal is state and countrywide at this point, to not have these businesses trying to force mandates onto their employees,” Staley added.