Loretto Hospital executives punished for improper Chicago vaccine events

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — Two Chicago hospital executives have been reprimanded for COVID-19 vaccine events that improperly gave shots to people far from the West Side facility, including one held for workers at Trump Tower.

Loretto Hospital’s Board of Directors released a statement Friday saying they had “taken appropriate actions of reprimand” against Loretto’s president and CEO, George Miller, and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anosh Ahmed.

A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email Monday requesting comment from Miller and Anosh in reaction to the board’s decision.

City health officials said last week they would withhold first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the hospital as authorities investigate the events.

The backlash followed local media reporting on several vaccination events held outside the hospital, which primarily serves Black and Latino residents in West Side neighborhoods. The hospital was chosen last year to administer Chicago’s ceremonial first COVID-19 vaccination as part of the city’s efforts to encourage people to get the shot.

Block Club Chicago first reported vaccination events that hospital officials organized at Trump Tower in downtown Chicago and at the hospital president’s suburban church. On Monday, they reported employees at a Gold Coast watch shop, which Loretto’s COO frequents, were vaccinated as well.

WBEZ reported that county judges and family members improperly received vaccines from the hospital.

Dee Sutton, president of the union that represents nurses at Loretto Hospital, is pleading with the city to resume vaccine supply, after the department of public health suspended delivery of first doses.

“There are other administrators there, other management there that can step in and take over vaccine distribution,” she said. “It’s a drastic measure to solve that problem.”

A measure with no end in sight.

“I don’t expect them to be coming back online anytime soon,” Mayor Lightfoot said. “I fear that we’re going to hear more stories, which is why we pushed paused on giving Loretto new first doses.”

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a member of the hospital’s board, told the Chicago Sun-Times that the reprimand did not include firing Miller or Ahmed but would not provide more detail. Another board member, state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, also declined to specify the board’s actions, Block Club Chicago reported.

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