Spartanburg health system achieves gold with smoke-free initiative

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Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s Pelham Medical Center and Union Medical Center have received “gold stars” for their success in creating tobacco-free workplaces.

The health centers were recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s (SCHA) Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners with a Prevention Partners’ Gold Star. They achieved the highest standard of tobacco-free excellence through creating a tobacco-free workplace and offering employees high-quality tobacco cessation programs.

“We’re extremely pleased to be recognized in this way,” said Paul Newhouse, president of Union Medical Center. “We strive to provide excellence in health and keeping our associates healthy plays an important role in that.”

To be recognized, hospitals have to institute a tobacco-free worksite policy, refer their employees to effective programs and counseling to help them quit smoking, provide comprehensive cessation benefits, including nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications, and offer incentives to encourage employees to quit using tobacco. These are among several evidence-based components recommended by Working Well and Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems in the workplace.

“Pelham Medical Center strives to be a healthy campus,” said Tony Kouskolekas, president of Pelham Medical Center. “It’s wonderful to see our organization honored in this way.”

Prevention Partners works with the SCHA’s Working Well initiative to engage corporate leaders and staff throughout South Carolina to enhance and sustain employee wellness efforts. These efforts are generously funded through the Duke Endowment.

“These hospitals set a high bar in terms of their cessation program for employees. Employees are provided every opportunity to be successful in quitting the use of tobacco, and all employees are protected from exposure to secondhand smoke at the workplace,” says Taylor Pritchard, strategic coaching senior coordinator at Prevention Partners. “I applaud their great effort.”

In 2013, Spartanburg Medical Center also received this designation.

 

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