KU Medical Center is committed to providing an academic and work environment that is respectful of the religious diversity of its students and employees. In furtherance of that commitment, the University will make good faith efforts to provide reasonable religious accommodations to those whose sincerely held religious beliefs, practices or observances conflict with University policies, procedures or other employment or academic requirements. Such accommodations must not fundamentally alter the integrity of the University's mission, affect the University's commitment to patient care, or otherwise create an undue hardship.
COVID Vaccine Exemption Request
KU Medical Center clinical partners are now requiring all students to have received the COVID vaccine before being allowed to begin or continue their clinical or programmatic experiences. Some KU Medical Center partners are administering their own religious exemption request processes while other sites are directing KU Medical Center to perform that review. If the clinical site you are assigned to is administering the exemption review process, you may not need to complete or submit any forms to KU Medical Center, unless otherwise directed by the site. Some sites reviewing and deciding exemptions have developed their own forms for students to submit directly to them. Please communicate with your school/program to better understand the clinical site's process, and which form to complete. Please know that some clinical sites are still deciding how they will administer student requests for religious exemption, and have not yet communicated their processes to KU Medical Center.
Other sites are not permitting a religious exemption for students. If you are assigned to a site not permitting a religious exemption to a COVID-19 vaccine requirement, you may request another accommodation from KU Medical Center (i.e., leave of absence or alternative site location) by completing and submitting a request for another religious accommodation.
The University of Kansas Health System Policy
The University of Kansas Health System respects the right of all health system-affiliated personnel, including KU Medical Center students, to practice and express their own religious and spiritual beliefs. Health system-affiliated personnel who have a religious belief that all or certain immunizations are contrary to his or her religious teachings must provide documentation of this to the Vaccine Accommodation Committee to VaccineExempt@kumc.edu from his or her religious leader for determination of exemption.
Health system-affiliated personnel who do not belong to a formal religion, or who have a sincerely held spiritual belief that differs from the religion to which they belong, may submit an exemption form without a signature from a religious leader; however, they might be asked a series of standard questions regarding the nature of their belief.
The KU Medical Center Religious Accommodation Policy establishes procedures for requesting accommodations under various circumstances, including, for example:
- The University will make reasonable efforts to accommodate timely requests for absences associated with religious observances.
- A learner may request to be excused from participating in specific health care and/or research procedures or other educational experiences where such care or experiences presents a conflict with the student's religious beliefs.
- Learners are still responsible for the knowledge of such procedures or educational experiences.
For University Employees:
- The University will make reasonable efforts to accommodate an employee's requests for absences which may include allowing flexible arrival or departure times, providing floating or optional holidays, allowing flexible work breaks, considering schedule substitutions with colleagues of substantially similar qualifications, or providing other reasonable adjustments to their regular work hours.
- An employee may request to be relieved from participating in any aspect of a patient's care or treatment in situations where the prescribed care or treatment presents a conflict with the employee's religious beliefs.
For any KUMC member:
- The University will make reasonable efforts to accommodate requests for specific religious attire, dress or grooming, quiet spaces or time for prayer, or to engage in other religious practices that are a requirement of religious observance.
If you wish to request a religious accommodation, please complete the Religious Accommodation Request Form. The request will be submitted to the appropriate Associate Dean or Human Resources representative for review and disposition.