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CEO Message: February 2021

Dear Colleagues:

Happy New Year! I hope you are all doing well and had a happy and safe holiday season.

Thanks to all of you who attended the NEMG COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall on Friday, Jan. 22. We had a great turn-out of more than 400 viewers, and I would like to thank each of our presenters for their informative contributions. Keeping our patients, employees, and clinicians updated throughout this pandemic has been paramount and these online discussions have allowed us to share information and answer your questions. 

I would like to dedicate today’s CEO Message to discussing updates on the COVID-19 vaccine strategy. We are now a few weeks into the YNHHS COVID-19 vaccination campaign. As of this publication, approximately 76% of NEMG employees have been vaccinated. On a system level, more than 24,000 members of our medical staff and employees have received their first dose of the vaccine, and of those, about 17,000 have already received their second dose.

Although we understand and respect hesitancy to receive this new vaccine, we do encourage all clinicians, employees and staff to get vaccinated. All of the available data indicate that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are relatively safe and effective. As we continue to learn from the constant research of both vaccines, I urge you to educate your patients, as well. Our most effective tool to combat hesitancy is communicating to one another.

It is important to note that both vaccines had to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they were cleared for use. Following approval, the FDA, along with the CDC, continue to monitor the safety of the vaccines to detect any issues, should they arise. Of note, Connecticut’s Governor Lamont has a vaccine advisory committee, which includes Richard Martinello, MD, Medical Director of Infection Prevention for YNHHS and this team as well, recommended immediate distribution of the vaccine.

Recently, a new section of the YNHHS website was launched that allows for direct scheduling of vaccines (based on eligibility), and offers an opportunity to sign up for additional information and updates, and provides updated vaccine content. See the latest information here, and do share it with your patients as appropriate. For COVID-19 vaccine distribution information and answers to other common questions, please visit our FAQ page. Information on Connecticut’s COVID-19 response, can be found on CT’s official state website. Content including announcements for upcoming Town Halls, vaccine information for employees and medical staff, vaccine information regarding patients and more can be found in Dr. Ryan O’Connell’s All NEMG Update email.

I am continuously impressed with both your creativity and resilience as well as your continued support of each other amid the many stresses of this pandemic. We are all in this together. On that thought, do not hesitate to talk to your supervisor or email me, via the “Ask the CEO” mailbox, with any questions or comments.

As we continue to navigate the emotional and isolating effects of COVID-19, I want to remind you to take advantage of the following resources:

  • The Employee and Family Resources Program offers confidential counseling.
  • A variety of helpful options can be found at

For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following:

Please visit the intranet for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.

My gratitude to you all for your diligent work and dedication to excellence in patient care.

Best wishes,


Prathibha Varkey, MBBS, MPH, MHPE, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Northeast Medical Group