I will be updating this further after our meeting. Please download and print the worksheet to be used!
Thank you to those of you who were able to make the meeting. This was such an important meeting we felt it was important to share it with you all! You can review the recording here!
We are working closely with Indiana for Medical Freedom and Indiana Health Choice Coalition to make this bill successful! We are so blessed to have this excellent collaborative team.
Here is a great write up by Indiana for Medical Freedom did as a follow up to our joint meeting:
Wednesday January 13 at 9:30 a.m. senate bill 74 will have a hearing in the Pensions and Labor committee. WE NEED YOU TO COME TESTIFY at the Indiana Statehouse 200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46204.
If you have not seen the bill yet, the full version can be found here, or read the synopsis:
Workplace immunization prohibition.
Prohibits an employer from requiring, as a condition of employment, an employee or prospective employee to receive any immunization if the immunization is medically contraindicated for the employee or receiving the immunization is against the employee’s religious beliefs or conscience. Allows for a civil action against an employer for a violation.
One of the most intimidating things about testifying is getting to the right place at the right time. The meeting has a good review of where to go and the “lay of the land.” Below you can also see a map of the area around the Indiana State House. The red line indicates the public entrance off Capitol Ave. There is metered parking on the streets around the State House. The closest parking garage is marked with a blue dot and is across the street from the public entrance.
To enter the building, there will be a security check that involves putting your belongings in the xray machine, like at the airport, and walking through a metal detector.
Where do you go once inside the statehouse?
There is an information desk and the security staff can point you in the right direction to find it. The hearing starts at 9:30. The public will be testifying in Room 404, and the room will open no sooner than 30 minutes before the meeting. Plan to leave enough time that you will be outside Room 404 at 9:00 a.m. That may mean you arrive in the downtown area by 8:30 or sooner to find parking, go through security, and find Room 404.
Here is a link to find to the safety protocol at the State House for Covid guidelines.
You can fill out an appearance to testify form online starting at 7:00 a.m. on the day of the hearing. Follow this link to click the blue box that says Appearance Form.
Paper appearance forms will also be available for completion outside of Room 404 thirty minutes before the hearing starts.
What do you say during testimony?
Several people have asked this question. First of all, testimony is timed and usually no more than 3 minutes. If a large number of people show up, it may be shorter than 3 minutes. After you complete the appearance form, you will wait until your name is called to go speak at the podium. The usual order of testimony is for Supporters of the bill to speak first and Opposition to speak after, but this is not always the case.
These are a few of the main points, but there are numerous reasons that SB 74 is necessary. Having the basic human right to bodily autonomy without being discriminated against by being unemployable is a big one. Vaccines are liability free, and anyone who takes them is responsible for injury that may occur.
Most of all speak from the heart. Speak with strength. Speak with truth. and Speak up for your rights, even if your voice shakes.
Your shaking voice is a signal, it shows that you feel this issue is so important you are facing your fears and CONQUERING THEM.
If you have concerns about writing your testimony, download, and use this worksheet. Then bring it with you on Wednesday.
For those who simply cannot make it to the State House to testify (and even those who can), here is the contact information for the Legislators on the Pensions and Labor Committee. The Committee members will be the ones that take a vote on the bill. Once it passes in Committee, it gets moved to the full 50 members of the Senate. Please remember that a phone call is much more impactful than an email! Phone calls take time. Phone calls tie up Legislative assistants. Phone calls are personal. These calls can make or break this bill. If you feel so inclined you can call daily to make sure the message is heard LOUD AND CLEAR! You can also leave a voicemail if it is after hours. These are still effective! If an assistant comes in for the day and has to spend 20 minutes listening to voicemails we have done our job well!!
If you are unable to make calls emails are great, too. In fact, there is no reason you cannot do both. ;) A great and easy way is to utilize the tool that Stand for Health Freedom has provided for our use. Using this link you can effectively send out emails to the entire Labor and Pensions committee as well as a few of your own legislators!
Senator John Crane:
Legislative Assistant: Morgan Torres
Senator Phil Boots:
Legislative Assistant: Sarah Potter
Senator Linda Rogers
Legislative aide: Cassie Anderson
Senator Greg Walker
Legislative Assistant: Morgan Torres Email:
Senator Chip Perfect
Legislative Assistant: Michael Conway
Senator Blake Doriot
Legislative Assistant: Ryan Ritchie
Senator Karen Tallian
Legislative Assistant: Tyler Hempfling
Phone: 317-232-9404 | 800-382-9467
Senator Fady Qaddoura
Legislative Assistant: Tyler Hempfling
Phone: 317-232-9404 | 800-382-9467
Senator David Niezgodski
Legislative Assistant: Shaneé Francher-Donald
Phone: 317-232-9491 | 800-382-9467
As always, thank you for your support and dedication. This bill could not have come this far without all of you working along side us. It is because of you that we are growing in numbers. Please continue to share the petition, tell people how inexpensive and easy membership is. I have truly gargantuan goals for this organization they will require more Hoosiers. Together we are more powerful than imaginable. Keep up the good work and send the following message to 3 friends NOW!
Hi! Did you see Senate Bill 74 protecting workers rights? Hoosiers for Medical Liberty has been working for months to preserve your right to decline a mandated vaccine. Support them by signing the petition at hoosiersformedicalliberty.com/workerprotectionact after signing it will take you straight to the membership page, please become a member and help solidify Medical Liberty here in Indiana.
Thank you again,
Hoosiers for Medical Liberty
Indiana for Medical Freedom
Indiana Health Choice Coalition
We are so excited to announce that all the work we have been doing has started to pay off! Our bill has officially been filed and is set to be heard this session. Indiana Health Choice Coalition, Indiana For Medical Freedom and Hoosiers for Medical Liberty thank you all for your support.
You can find SB 74 here!
I have seen a few questions pop up and so I think it is important to go over the basics.
Indiana has it’s own Senate and House of Representatives where bills are heard and passed into Indiana state law once the Governor signs them. This is separate from the House and Senate in D.C. the bills that are heard there, become federal laws once signed by the President.
How a bill becomes a law… If you would rather listen to School house rock "I'm just a bill." it might be more entertaining. The same principles apply except it is on a state level.
Important info below!!!!
Everyone needs to understand that there will be multiple times where we will be asking for your help. This is very intentional and VERY IMPORTANT! As step 6 says, we repeat the same process, it might feel like we are being redundant, but we aren't I promise! There will be a whole new group of people that need to be encouraged to vote yes.
If we don't do the second part we risk FAILURE. We will be successful. We are armed with knowledge and some of the most passionate activists! We WILL be successful but we cannot do this without you.
The opportunities to testify might have short notice so early notification is important. This year that is even more of a concern than in previous years due to the speed at which they are moving through meetings as a result of C-19 restrictions. The best way to get notifications is to become a member of Hoosiers for Medical Liberty. As a member you can agree to text messages so we can send you direct and timely messages.
**Learn more about testifying at our meeting Jan 7th!
If you cannot testify, we need you calling!
Even if you do not think you can make it for testimony, timely alerts are important. We still need you to call your legislators. It does not matter if you talk to a live person, leave a message! If you work strange hours call when you can, voicemail is there for a reason. YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE! If the legislative assistant has to listen to 50 voicemails by 8:00 am the day of hearing, we have done our jobs well!
(hint hint, that is an expectation!)
We will be counting on you to CALL encouraging a YES vote. The legislative assistants tally the calls and report to the legislators especially when a bill is getting a lot of calls. Strong supportive attention can push a legislator to vote “YES.”
Where are we now?!?
We are currently in step number 4 above. Our bill originated in the Senate and will be heard in committee. You are not guaranteed a hearing. As part of our preliminary footwork we have laid the groundwork to secure a hearing. SB74 could be heard in committee as early as next week.
After it is heard and passed in committee it will go to the next full senate session. It could be the next day! After It passes in the senate it will move over to the House, be assigned a committee, and we start the process over again.
*Your primary role right now is to be sure to call YOUR senator and let them know how important SB74 is to you and your family.
Calls do not have to be lengthy, something simple will be just as effective as a lengthy message. “Hello (Assistant’s name) Would you please tell Senator ________ that I expect his/her support of SB 74. It is imperative to the financial and emotional well being of our family. Thank you!”
Feel free to add more info if you would like. If you want to hit a home run, then schedule a meeting with your Senator. It can be a zoom call or a telephone conference of 15 minutes. Say your pleasantries, discuss SB 74 and what it means to your family, how you have seen this as a threat to employment, and any discrimination or harassment you have received regarding the vaccine. Just remember, these are real people, with families and “day jobs” too, be kind yet firm on your stance. **They also might have concerns that their government employer might mandate the vaccine.**
*Your secondary role in this is continuing to spread the petition, information about SB 74, and getting your friends to contact their Senators! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
Send your friend a text. “Hey Lisa! Have you seen the info for SB 74, it protects employees from mandated COVID vaccine.” When they reply you send them another text with our website- hoosiersformedicalliberty.com where they can sign the petition. When they confirm tell them about this blog post, how important, and EASY it is to call your senator. Encourage them to pick up the phone today.
Congrats! You just completed a crash course in activism during legislative season! How does it feel?
If you are still feeling uneasy or just want to make sure you have all the details be sure to register for our meeting Thursday Jan 7th. Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contacts because that is where the invite will come from. Sometimes our emails end up in promotions or spam. Keep us out of there please!!
Thank you again!
Local headlines make it seem as though the experimental COVID-19 vaccine is moving into Hoosier nursing homes as early as NEXT WEEK! No one really knows what to expect, but we are doing our best to stay ahead of the curve, because of this we wanted to provide a little information so you can prepare appropriately.
First of all, we have had people report that the nursing homes are reaching out to family and are being clear that you CAN decline the experimental vaccine. This is great news for those worried about requirements!
This is an interesting and multilayered issue for many. I want to talk about the “not so obvious” for a moment. I think it is safe to say that being in a long-term care facility right now is pretty isolating. For some it may have been months since their families have been to see them. Before getting too anxious about the vaccine, I think it is very important to TALK with your loved one first. It is very hard to determine what their opinion might be. It would certainly be very difficult to be so isolated, vulnerable, and hearing about how this vaccine is “the way out.” I encourage you to check on your loved one, see how they are doing, and if you haven’t specifically discussed the experimental vaccine do so! This can be a high-tension topic if you are not aware of your loved one’s stance. It is natural to be concerned about them especially when you are not able to physically visit with them.
Here are a few tips for your conversation:
If your loved one would like to decline the experimental vaccine, they should be provided with the opportunity to do so. Several people have asked about how to exempt loved ones so we thought we would provide a little guidance.
It is important to note that the forms on the exemptions blog do NOT cover the experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Indiana state law only provides for exemptions for influenza and pneumonia vaccines. Indiana state Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and beliefs of conscious. Many individuals object based on religious grounds, and so that is the exemption form we will give as an example. You can make your own if you prefer. Simply draft a letter with the date, name of the nursing home, along with a statement about the individual’s religious beliefs preventing them from getting the vaccine, sign and submit.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send us an email email@example.com
As always, please be sure to sign the petition supporting The Worker Protection Act HERE. If you like the work we are doing please be sure to become a member to support our mission!
CALL TO ACTION!
While we have the support and dedication of a few legislators at least one does NOT feel mandates are a threat to your employment...
******* Time to fill your elected officials email boxes with information! *******
Tell both your Senator and your House Representative that the threat of employer mandated COVID vaccination is REAL!
Send them the articles, news clips and otherwise. Do you have information from your employer about MANDATES? If your employer has made you believe it will be mandated as a condition of employment SHARE THAT! We have a list of links below you can feel free to use it, but encourage you to add a few of your own and point out your specific concerns! We will periodically update with articles you add in the comments.
Of course, we also ask that you sign our petition if you haven't! Take the next step in advocating for your rights by becoming a member! We are doing drawings as a way to say thank you for all your help in growing! Check out the post here for all the details!
The video below can help you find your legislators at the following website: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/find-legislators/
Which do you want?
I know, I know you want both! Good news- you can get one of these FREE!
We are working to grow a strong grassroots group outside of social media- we all know why
We have grown so fast and have 92 members in our organization and growing daily. We wanted to thank you for helping us grow! So we decided to do drawings at certain milestones.
It is all really simple. When you become a member, you earn an entry. When you refer a friend and they use your name, you earn an entry. Https://bit.ly/h4mlmember
Drawings will take place as follows:
100 members- Win a TOTE! ***Congrats Amy Smith!***
150 members- Win a T-SHIRT!
250 members- 2 winners for T-SHIRT
500 members- THREE WINNERS! 1 draw for both a shirt and a tote, 1 draw for a shirt, and one for a tote!
As always, if you haven't yet please sign our petition to protect workers rights https://bit.ly/workerpetition
Thank you so much! We look forward to growing with you.
This week parents across the state started receiving letters like the one to the right from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) addressed to “The Parents” of their soon to be kindergartners. In short, the form discusses how protecting Hoosier children from vaccine preventable diseases is of highest importance of public health and to ensure this measure is carried out certain vaccinations are required* for the child to begin Kindergarten in the fall. Utilizing a religious exemption nullifies the required vaccines. If you have questions about the available exemptions, please check out our blog post HERE.
I have received a few concerned phone calls and text messages about the meaning of these letters. Certainly, a letter like this would frighten Hoosiers who have declined one or more of the vaccines listed on the form. To clarify, all this letter means is that ISDH is reminding you to take your child in for the remainder of the vaccinations required* for school. Simple as that.
Many might wonder what steps to take next. Some families may opt to call their provider to double check vaccination status, verifying what their child may need, and work with the provider accordingly. Alternatively, some families may object to the missing vaccinations and not want to pursue scheduling them. For the later of you, you will just need to submit an exemption form to the school which is found in the blog post mentioned above.
Parents may also be concerned about how the ISDH was able to obtain the individual records. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to delve a little further into “CHIRP” or the Children & Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program. This program is run by the state board of health and allows physicians and other health care providers to enter the immunization records of patients. Previously, I had believed that this was something an individual must agree to, however in reviewing the exclusion form that is not correct. Providers and other authorized users, like school nurses, may submit immunization records without consent of the individual, parent, or guardian. You can read more on CHIRP HERE or HERE.
While CHIRP may be helpful for tracking immunizations across multiple providers some may feel it is a violation of privacy. It IS possible to remove an individual from the registry. I have found two different forms to do so. The first was at the CHIRP homepage, if you scroll down you will see “File downloads” on the right hand side. About half way down you will see “User Removal Form.” You can print the form out and submit as directed on the form.
The second and perhaps more comprehensive option is on the ISDH website. You will find the same form as above in the first section titled “Forms and Reference Guides for Providers.” In the next section “Forms for Parents and Patients” you will find a form titled “Immunization Registry Data Exclusion Request.”
For a government form, this is pretty easy to follow. Fill out the information at the top and then select the exemption type in section B. Most likely you will want to complete both types. You may wish to fill out the form and make copies. Keep one copy for yourself, submit another to the address on the form, and then to any additional to providers.
Prior to removing an individual from the registry I strongly recommend collecting all data, printing it off, and storing it in a secure location. You never know if you will need this information in the future and it is better to be safe than sorry. Please see section D of the Immunization Registry Data Exclusion Request for details.
Once removed from the registry the ISDH and the public-school systems will not have access to records and you will no longer receive letters as mentioned above. I hope this has answered all your questions about the letter and what your options are. Please feel free to message us with any further questions or concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today we will talk about vaccine exemptions!
This will be one of the most sought-after blog posts I ever write! Before we get to the details there are a few things you should know. Unfortunately, as you will see below these exemptions do NOT cover all Hoosiers nor do they provide adult protection against COVID-19 vaccine mandates. We sincerely hope that you will take a few moments and complete our petition HERE to protect Hoosiers should vaccines be mandated by employers. This is a very real issue and cannot wait any longer. The team here at Hoosiers for Medical Liberty is working diligently to protect your rights and we cannot do it without you so be sure to sign the petition and share it with your friends.
Once you have completed the petition you will be directed to a membership page where you can become a member for only $10 a year. This membership keeps you up to date on our work, educational events, activities, and funds everything we do! If you can afford more than $10 please consider donating more. We have tried to make membership affordable to all Hoosiers. However, as we continue to work, our costs will surpass the funds we collect through basic membership. Thank you and we hope these exemptions bring you peace of mind!
AS PROMISED: VACCINE EXEMPTIONS!
I was once in your position. Frantically searching to find out how I would be able to work without getting the flu shot or send my kids to daycare or to school without all of the “required” vaccinations. It is TERRIFYING to think that you could potentially be denied work, daycare, or school. Unfortunately, we are not alone. We frequently receive messages about vaccine exemptions and this issue causes great distress for many families across Indiana.
To help alleviate that stress we have tried our best to make this process as simple as possible for you. All you need to do is: download the form relevant to your situation, complete it on a pdf editor or simply print and fill in by hand. By law you are not required to submit anything other than what is included in these forms unless indicated. We do want to be clear in stating that we are NOT a legal firm. We do not offer legal advice or representation.
What is on the form?
Each form will have a place for the date, your name or your child’s name, the requirements for the available exemptions, your signature, and the corresponding Indiana State code at the bottom for reference.
What should I expect when turning in an exemption for daycare/preschool, k-12, or higher education?
If you are filling out an exemption for a daycare, school, or higher education designation you can expect some push back. That is ok. Be polite, firm, and remind them they can review the Indiana state code, which is conveniently located on the form, or they can look it up themselves. Often, parents are asked to fill out a form that the school has, you are not LEGALLY obligated to do so. Some parents will complete it to remain in better graces with the school nurse, others simply decline. Some families like to email the exemption form to the school nurse or other responsible party, this allows for written acknowledgment of receipt upon response and can reduce discomfort for those who are nonconfrontational.
You will be required to complete and turn in a new exemption each year so don’t be surprised when this happens. Sometimes schools will send home a letter with threatening language similar to: “your child is missing some of the required vaccines. You have until *date* to complete the vaccinations or your child will not be allowed to attend school.” When this occurs, you need to turn in another religious exemption form for that year or remind the staff that you had submitted a religious exemption at the beginning of the year. Another common occurrence is the request for CHIRP authorization. While this doesn’t fall under the exemption, you have the right to revoke participation in the CHIRP system. Read more about how to remove an individual from CHIRP HERE.
Each code can be found here:
What should I expect when completing a Healthcare Worker Influenza exemption?
As a nurse, I had no idea Indiana code providing exemptions for healthcare workers existed, and I am sure many of you will be amazed to learn this as well. Healthcare workers across the state have endured significant harassment and bullying over flu vaccines and we are excited to provide some education on this exemption.
There are a few stipulations you need to be aware of and we encourage everyone to exercise their rights in accordance with this code. You are ultimately responsible for the interactions with your employer. Again, we are NOT a legal firm. We do not offer legal advice or representation. Nothing in this section must be taken as legal advice, we encourage you to seek out legal counsel if you have any questions or concerns prior to turning in this exemption.
Indiana code 16-28-14.5 offers four (4) exemption options for the influenza vaccine to employees of a “comprehensive care facility” who “have direct contact with a patient or resident of the health facility.” According to IC 16-28-2.5-3 a “comprehensive care facility” is defined as “a health facility that provides, nursing care, room, food, laundry, administration of medications, special diets, treatments, and that may provide rehabilitative and restorative therapies under the order of an attending physician.” Essentially this covers most hospitals, long term care facilities, skilled nursing facilities and other inpatient rehab facilities. Below you will see the four options you have to choose from.
We have heard countless stories of hospital employees who are being coerced into receiving a flu vaccine and know it is imperative to get this information out as soon as possible. We have had reports of health facilities administering “religion tests” for those submitting exemptions or denying an exemption entirely. I am sure if you are seeking this form for yourself you are already aware that you can anticipate some push back, but again, be firm yet polite and remind them that they can review the Indiana state code conveniently provided on the bottom of the form. If you are fearful of retribution or confrontation at the time of returning this form you may decide to email your exemption form through your work platform to Employee Health Services or to Human Resources. Keeping communication regarding your exemption through email provides you written documentation of the receipt and response to your exemption. It may be advisable to print out communications at the time they are received and save hard copies.
Patient Influenza/Pneumococcal vaccine exemption
This is another exemption I was unaware of even though I would often send patients to health care facilities that “require” influenza (flu) and pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccines prior to admission. I don’t remember ever having a patient object; however, it was always presented as a prerequisite to being admitted. You may consider providing this exemption letter after you or your loved one has been accepted as a patient to the facility of your choice. It may be considered discrimination if a patient has previously been accepted to a facility prior to receiving an exemption form, and then is denied admission after. In many cases vaccinations are given on the day prior to discharge from a hospital and this may help you. Much like the healthcare worker exemption IC 16-28-14 offers four (4) exemption options as listed below.
I think that concludes the post and should help you achieve your desired outcome. Please email us at email@example.com with your success stories! Alternatively, we will start collecting stories from those of you who have faced discrimination or harassment due to vaccination status soon. Keep an eye on the blog for info!
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to sign the petition and join as a member!
I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for submitting your petitions. We have decided to streamline this process this process for you! You no longer need to use the PDF in the previous post. All you have to do is click HERE.
Wednesday we will be having another important meeting in attempts to get the Worker Protection Act to be heard in the upcoming session, so keep them coming! Please continue to share this with your fellow Hoosiers!
***Update*** Please see the streamlined petition here!
How would your family be impacted by an employer mandated COVID-19 vaccine? Would you be willing to take the vaccine over losing your job? If this thought frightens you, please take a moment to write down your concerns and add them to our growing list. You can submit your own letter or use the editable PDF below.
Hoosiers for Medical Liberty is working to educate legislators in order to secure your right to decline a vaccine without negative repercussions to your employment. Will you help us? Nothing speaks louder than a constituent! If you wish to remain anonymous, you may sign with your initials. It is important to include your Senate and House districts. If you don't know them you can find them here! Once your form is completed please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashley Grogg RN-MSN sharing insights, tips, and updates on Medical Liberty throughout the Hoosier state.