WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The President and CEO of United Regional says since giving all employees and medical staff members a deadline to show proof of vaccination or exemption, they’ve lost around 80 employees.

Sixty employees were lost between September, when the mandate was announced, and now. An additional twenty employees were lost once the December 5 deadline rolled around.

That mandate was given about three months ago and now that the deadline has come and gone, many in the community have concerns on where this leaves not employees, but the hospital as a whole.

Phyllis Cowling says despite losing the employees over the vaccine mandate, United Regional will still be a fully staffed hospital able to serve the community.

She says there are around 2,400 staff members with 400 of those being medical staff.

In light of vaccine ban arguments, Cowling says she believes the law is still very unsettled at his point.

“We felt a little bit like a ping pong ball between state laws and federal laws and ultimately, it’s going to be up to the courts to decide and they will. There’s a lot of questions that they have to address but in the meantime, we felt that, again, we had been ping-ponging quite a bit and it was important that we just continue to move forward and so we decided to do that. To go forward with our timeline, our processes and do what we always intended to do which was honor our privilege and our responsibility for serving the community, which is why we did it in the first place,” Cowling said.

Cowling says right now, 96% of United Regional Health Care staff are fully vaccinated or exempt.