May 11, 2021

Around the nation: Senior CDC official integral in warning about Covid-19 resigns

Daily Briefing

    Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who was the first U.S. government official to warn about the potential danger of the new coronavirus last year, resigned effective May 14, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Georgia, Missouri, and Texas.

    • Georgia: Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who was the first U.S. government official to warn about the potential danger of the new coronavirus last year, resigned effective May 14. In an email sent to staff and reviewed by the Washington Post, Messonnier said she and her family "have determined that now is the best time for me to transition to a new phase of my career," and applauding CDC's response to the Covid-19 epidemic, saying the agency "achieved incredible things, including deploying multiple vaccines in under one year and building the information infrastructure to provide real-time vaccination coverage and vaccine safety data." Messonnier said in the email she will become executive director for pandemic and public health systems at the Skoll Foundation in California (Stanley-Becker/Sun, Washington Post, 5/7; Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/7; Weixel, The Hill, 5/7).
    • Missouri: Gary Fulbright, CEO and executive director of Citizens Memorial Hospital and Citizens Memorial Health Care Foundation, is retiring effective Dec. 31. Fulbright first joined Citizens Memorial in 1982 as its controller and was promoted to CFO in 2003. In January, he succeeded Donald Babb as CEO (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 5/7).
    • Texas: Jennifer Bridges, an RN at Houston Methodist, is suing the hospital for its mandate that all employees receive a Covid-19 vaccine. The mandate requires all Houston Methodist employees to receive one of three Covid-19 vaccines, and failure to do so or receive a medical or religious exemption could lead to an employee being fired. Bridges said she's not ready to get a vaccine yet and wants to wait for FDA to have more data on the shots. "All we're asking is: just more time," she said. "In the meantime, we'll wear N-95s, face shields. We'll do what the CDC says is perfectly safe." Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist, said the hospital is "never going to make anybody take the vaccine. But at the end of the day if they choose not to take the vaccine, there are many other places they can work" (Correa, KHOU, 4/28).
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