State Rep. LaShawn Ford resigns from Loretto Hospital board amid COVID vaccine scandal

CHICAGO (WLS) -- State Rep. La Shawn Ford resigned from the Loretto Hospital board because he was disappointed with how hospital leadership was reprimanded for handling a vaccine scandal.

RELATED: Loretto Hospital under fire for reported jewelry store vaccinations

"I am very disappointed with the recent developments at The Loretto Hospital regarding its use of coronavirus vaccine entrusted to the hospital," Ford, D-Chicago, said in a statement.

"Yesterday, I submitted my resignation to The Loretto Hospital's Board Chairman Edward Hogan because I strongly disagreed with how the reprimand of the hospital leadership was handled," Ford said. "As the state representative for the hospital and as a resident in its service area, I will continue to fight for resources for The Loretto Hospital, a safety-net hospital in the Austin community."

RELATED: Loretto Hospital CEO under scrutiny for vaccinating 200 at Oak Forest church

Hospital CEO George Miller and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Anosh Ahmed have faced recent scrutiny after revelations the hospital improperly provided vaccinations to workers at Trump Tower, at a suburban church where Miller is a member, and a luxury watch shop on the Gold Coast where Ahmed shops.

Loretto remains cut off from its vaccination supply, the toughest sanction the city can impose on it.

"It's a sad situation," said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health. "It is a small amount of vaccine in comparison to the more than 1 million doses that have been done, but it is just not what we're going to tolerate here."

"They won't be receiving any first doses of vaccine until everything is complete there, until we're sure that all their reporting is completely up to date, until we're sure that their plans are to vaccinate their own patients and their own community," Arwady added.

"Equity and equality has to be for everyone, if we don't all have it, none of us has it," Miller said during a January 6 interview for Windy City Live. Those words are now coming back to haunt him.

He and Dr. Ahmed, who got vaccinated live on CNN in December, are now in the limelight for a vaccination scandal that continues to reverberate on the West Side.

Ford was not paid in his role as a board member at Loretto Hospital, according to Block Club Chicago, which broke many of the stories regarding the hospital's improper use of the vaccines.

RELATED: 72 Trump Tower employees mistakenly vaccinated by Loretto Hospital

Dr. Arwady said the city is bringing in another health care provider to make sure the Protect Chicago Plus vaccination initiative is not interrupted for the Austin neighborhood. Other providers are also stepping in to help until Loretto is cleared by CDPH to once again receive vaccination allotments.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report
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