Mid Coast Hospital Recognized for Addressing Tobacco

At a recent Maine Hospital Association event, the Maine Tobacco Free Hospital Network recognized thirty-one Maine hospitals through the annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence program. Mid Coast Hospital received a silver level award for meeting best practice standards around creating a tobacco free environment and supporting tobacco free lifestyles.

"Hospitals should be health and wellness role models for their communities, so it's important for them to set an example around reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke," said Maine Tobacco Free Hospital Network Director Sarah Mayberry. "The Gold Star Standards of Excellence program is an opportunity to celebrate the hard work of Maine hospitals to address this issue."

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death and a major contributor to health care costs. Steven Trockman, Director of Community Relations and Outreach at Mid Coast said, “Mid Coast is committed to lowering health care costs for our patients and the community. By establishing policies, offering education, providing treatment, we are doing our part to help eliminate unnecessary costs that are incurred due to tobacco-related diseases.”

Mid Coast has met best practice standards including implementing evidence-based treatment strategies, divesting from tobacco industry stock, promoting smoke free lodging options for visitors, and providing tobacco treatment and medication benefits for employees.

Through its Community Health Improvement program, Mid Coast offers tobacco cessation counseling to patients, staff, and community members. “In my role as Tobacco Educator, I see first hand the difficulties that our patients and staff have with quitting,” said Stacey Schmidt, RRT, AE-C, Asthma and Tobacco Educator. “Implementing these standards supports their efforts, ensures higher success rates, and contributes to better long-term health outcomes.”

The recognition event for the thirty-one recognized hospitals included remarks from Maine Hospital Association (MHA) President, Steven Michaud, who shared that the MHA Board adopted a position statement supporting tobacco free hospitals in fall 2012.

"Meeting these standards requires hard work and commitment from these health care organizations, and the Maine Tobacco Free Hospital Network is pleased to be able to honor their dedication," said Mayberry.