Health Impact News Editor Comments: After reading about the nurses who lost their jobs in Indiana, Sarah Peterson came forward and told us her story of losing her job in Idaho for also refusing to accept mandatory vaccination for the flu shot. Sarah comments that she believes one of the reasons medical facilities are forcing vaccinations are a requirement for employment, in spite of negative media exposure, is “to meet the guidelines set forth to reach 90% vaccination of all health care workers to get their medicare and medicaid reimbursement.”

I wonder if this is one of the new provisions tied into “Obamacare?” If anyone has more information about this, please contact us.

by Sarah Peterson

I’m in Idaho. Here is my story.

I never really understood what the term, “forced resignation”, meant until I was forced to resign from my position at Kootenai Behavioral Health (KBH).

My name is Sarah and I am a Mental Health Specialist that up until Friday, December 7th, 2012, at 3:30pm, I had worked at KBH for 17 ½ years. KBH notified its staff that it would be implementing a mandatory flu vaccination policy. Staff were given the choice to vaccinate or wear a mask for the entire flu season (which is anywhere from Oct. to April as declared by the health department). If not willing to vaccinate, staff would be required to wear that mask for up to 6 months, for 8 to 12 hours depending on work shift length, changing it every 2 hours for effectiveness.

As the mother of three amazing children myself, and working in the health field for 17 ½ years, I make it a point to research and question everything that comes into contact with my children to ensure I am the most educated to make the best decisions for my family. They are my responsibility and I take that VERY seriously. That means spending enormous amounts of time reading medical journals, articles from the CDC, FDA, OSHA, and vaccine awareness sites. I gather information, compare data, verify resources, weigh risk and benefits and read between the lines using common sense. That being said, I choose NOT to vaccinate myself or my family with the flu shot.

When confronted with this policy, I made the decision NOT to vaccinate, leaving my only option to wear the mask (which I also researched for effectiveness) if I am going to remain employed at KBH.

I notified my supervisor that I would be more than willing to wear the mask when appropriate according to the research I had done for example, when around immune-compromised patients, if I were ill or the patient was ill but that I would not wear it when not deemed necessary. If anyone has worn a mask, you know how uncomfortable that is and to wear one for 8 to 12 hours, for up to 6 months, when not deemed necessary, was nothing to me but a form of bullying to get employees to vaccinate with the flu shot. My supervisor then notified me that I would be fired for not agreeing to this policy. I notified her that I was more than willing to be fired for not agreeing to this policy because I felt it was a violation of my right to not put carcinogens (for example, vaccine ingredients such as thimerosol/mercury that is a neurotoxin, polysorbate 80 which causes infertility in rats and formaldehyde that is a known carcinogen, just to name a few) in my body.

Well, what happened next may surprise you… the lengths that is, that they would go to fire me for any other reason BUT for not agreeing to the vaccine policy. Why you might ask? Because mandatory vaccination is a “hot topic” in the media right now and infringes on our human rights and no company wants that media attention. This being said they are still willing to do this to meet the guidelines set forth to reach 90% vaccination of all health care workers to get their medicare and medicaid reimbursement. Follow it back and you will always find the reason behind this…is the all mighty dollar.

When I refused to sign the form my supervisor told me to not come into work that evening and that without signing the form, they would NOT allow me to work. This was Monday  December 3rd, 2012. I asked her if she was planning on notifying the staffing office and my co-workers because I was not wanting to put them in a situation of being “short staffed” for their work shift, or if she wanted me to notify staffing. She said she would take care of it. She then told me she would call Human Resources (HR) and get back to me on a time to come in and be fired. I received a call back with her stating that HR said they needed to wait to fire me till I was a “no show” for my next shift, the following Monday.

This made no sense so I asked her “why?”. My supervisor continued to tell me that when I didn’t show up for my next scheduled shift, I would be fired for “abandonment” of my patients. I was in SHOCK! I quickly responded by saying that I would NEVER abandon my patients or co-workers. I told her I would show up Monday to work and that she would have to be the one telling me to leave.

I could not believe this was happening, but I have to say after researching vaccines for 7 years now, I was well aware of the deceit and corruption surrounding this issue. I quickly was trying to think one step ahead of them on where this was going. I then realized that they could not get me on “abandonment” if I “called off’ of work on that Monday. I would be notifying them that I was not coming in and not be a “no show” and therefore not meet the policy on abandonment. I called my supervisor to let her know what my plan was. I guess it was at this time she figured out that I could see through the lies. I asked her for the “abandonment” policy to which she says, “ Sarah, how long are you going to drag this out?” It was at this exact moment that I realized I had NO OUT. Sure, I could “call off”, avoid the “abandonment” policy and drag this out for two more weeks, but you see, KBH has another policy of “call offs/absenteeism”. If you call off more than their policy says is ok, you are fired for “absenteeism”. I could see quickly where this was headed. They were going to try and fire me for abandonment or absenteeism but NOT for the matter at hand of NOT agreeing with the mandatory vaccination policy.

Once I realized the reality of the situation and the clear manipulation of the truth, I felt I was forced to resign. I was forced to resign for three reasons: 1. To keep the focus on the truth of the matter, and I resigned stating that it was because I “did not agree with the mandatory vaccination flu policy at KBH”, 2. To not mar my 17 ½ year clean record with a bogas accusation like abandonment or absenteeism when that was not the case at all, and 3. Because I was told that if I were fired, my supervisor would have to say I was not re-hirable…all of which was NOT TRUE!

I find it mind boggling that a “health” care facility, who’s focus should be on “health”, would force an employee of 17 ½ years helping educate kids, teaching them to believe in themselves, stand up to bullies, make educated decisions, to not put drugs, alcohol, or other toxins in their bodies….and here I am being forced to resign for those same reasons.

I am not an angry ex-employee. I don’t want money or even my job back (I don’t want to work for a facility that does not take MY HEALTH into consideration also). All I want is for the community to know what is happening.

My story is not one about me, or even the topic of vaccines. It is a story about the chipping away of our human constitutional rights. If we can’t choose what we put or don’t put in our bodies…..what next?

Please let Kootenai Health know that you are a community that values your right to choose what is best for you and your family.

Thank you for your time,


See Also: Head of Nurse’s Union Forced to Take Flu Vaccine Ends Up in Own Intensive Care Unit

Flu and Flu Vaccines:
What’s Coming Through That Needle – DVD


More Info
FREE Shipping Available!