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SMHC Among 11 MaineHealth Hospitals and Affiliates Recognized for Tobacco-Free Initiatives

The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network (MTFHN), an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, has recognized Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) alongside 10 other MaineHealth hospitals and affiliates through its 2016 Gold Star Standards of Excellence program at an awards celebration in Augusta.  This annual initiative recognizes hospitals for addressing tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke through best practice policies and procedures.  

Maine hospitals that met at least seven of the 10 standards were recognized at the gold, silver or bronze level depending on the number of standards they met. 100 percent of all MaineHealth hospitals, including SMHC, received “Gold Star” awards.

Three Maine Medical Center (MMC) nurse practitioners – Donna Chamoff, Maura McDonald and Deirdre Sulka Meister – were recognized as MTFHN Gold Star Champions for providing intensive tobacco treatment at the bedside for MMC patients and their continued leadership and advocacy for tobacco-free environments and resources at MMC.

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S., including nearly 42,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.  

The recognized hospitals are addressing this issue through comprehensive policies, education, and treatment support. Examples of the Gold Star Standards of Excellence include creating a 100% tobacco-free campus, prohibiting advertising or promotion of tobacco products; promoting smoke-free community lodging for patients and families; and providing tobacco treatment and medication benefits for employees.  View the full list of standards here.

MaineHealth President Bill Caron said, “MaineHealth hospitals are deeply committed to supporting tough policies and programs that prevent and treat tobacco use – we’re proud of all of the hard work by our clinicians, administrators, boards, and employees to achieve 100 percent recognition from the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network.”  

“As a member of MaineHealth, SMHC is committed to ensuring our communities are the healthiest in America,” said SMHC President and CEO Ed McGeachey. “This includes ensuring that our patients, visitors and employees can enjoy a smoke-free environment at all SMHC facilities. As part of our commitment to the community, SMHC offers a ‘Be Tobacco Free’ Smoking Cessation program in addition to support materials and resources to help patients, employees and community members quit smoking. We are honored by this gold level recognition for our efforts.”

The following MaineHealth hospitals, affiliates and individuals were recognized in 2016:

Gold Level:
Franklin Memorial Hospital
Lincoln County Healthcare
MaineGeneral Medical Center (affiliate)
Maine Medical Center
Mid Coast-Parkview Health (affiliate)
Pen Bay Medical Center
Southern Maine Health Care
Spring Harbor Hospital
Stephens Memorial Hospital
Waldo County General Hospital

Bronze Level:
New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland (affiliate)

Gold Star Awards:
Donna Chamoff, NP, Maine Medical Center
Maura McDonald, NP, Maine Medical Center
Deirdre Sulka Meister, NP, Maine Medical Center  

The full description of the MTFHN Gold Star Standards of Excellence, including a list of all Maine hospitals recognized in 2016, is available here.

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