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Hospital execs punished for improper Chicago vaccine events

March 22, 2021 GMT
FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2013, file photo, boats move along the Chicago River near the Trump International Hotel and Tower, center, in Chicago. On Thursday, March 18, 2021, the city of Chicago decided to withhold first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from a hospital that improperly administered vaccinations to Trump Tower workers. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2013, file photo, boats move along the Chicago River near the Trump International Hotel and Tower, center, in Chicago. On Thursday, March 18, 2021, the city of Chicago decided to withhold first doses of COVID-19 vaccines from a hospital that improperly administered vaccinations to Trump Tower workers. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

CHICAGO (AP) — 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.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that the hospital needs better controls and data to guide and track vaccine administration, adding that she doesn’t expect the hospital “to be coming back online anytime soon.”

“They’ve got work to do, I think, to rebuild trust in their own community,” she said.

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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.

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

“While it is the estimation of the Board that all reported events stemmed from a sincere desire to vaccinate as many eligible Chicagoans as possible – especially people of color – as quickly as possible, we acknowledge that actions were taken that fall outside the scope of The Loretto Hospital’s core mission,” the hospital board said in Friday’s statement.

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.