Dr. Michael Ripchinski
Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, fields a question Tuesday during Gov. Tom Wolf's press conference to announce incentives to boost the vaccination rate among state employees. (Screenshot)

As Gov. Tom Wolf announced a state employee vaccination incentive program Tuesday, he was flanked by Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer for Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System, which includes Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital, is the only health system in the state requiring staff vaccinations against COVID-19.

“The vaccines are the most valuable tool that we have to stop the pandemic,” Ripchinski said.

Ripchinski added, “It’s the employers of any size, large and small, that play an essential role in making sure that we can increase the vaccination rates and put this pandemic behind us.”

Roughly two-thirds of LGH staff are vaccinated.

LG Health CEO John J. Herman announced in May the mandate requiring staff vaccinations by Sept. 1.

Since then, more than 80 health systems in 33 states have announced similar mandates.

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