NMMC Awarded Gold Star Recognition

PHOTO left to right: Representing ACAP: Jo-Ellen Kelley, Community Education Specialist; Dawn Roberts, Tobacco Prevention Specialist

Representing NMMC: Joanne Fortin, RN, Communications Director; Susan Devoe, RN, Director of Quality; Rebecca Michaud, RN, Community Educator

Fort Kent~ Peter Sirois, President and Chief Executive Officer at Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC), was informed by Sarah A. Mayberry, of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence, that NMMC has been recognized at the gold level of excellence for the fourth consecutive year. Sirois said, “The implementation of tobacco reduction strategies, for both our patients and our employees, is an important part of our Community Health Action Plan. It is part of our commitment to the health and wellness of the people we serve.”

The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, an initiative of the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine, recognizes hospitals that have worked diligently to prohibit smoke and tobacco use on campus and address client tobacco use by bestowing upon them the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network Gold Star Standards of Excellence Recognition award.

All Maine hospitals are invited to apply annually to determine ongoing support for the reduction of tobacco use across their service areas. Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment. The Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative held the annual Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 27, to celebrate the efforts of Maine hospitals to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses.  Dawn Roberts, Tobacco Prevention Specialist for ACAP said, “We are so happy that local hospitals are taking seriously the issue of tobacco exposure on their campuses. Aroostook County continues to have a high rate of tobacco use and with all four Aroostook County hospitals addressing the issue it goes a long way in protecting patients from the harmful effects of tobacco exposure.” This year, 33 hospitals from across the state and three gold star champions were recognized for their achievements in advancing campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles. Mayberry said, “We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals to address tobacco use and exposure by meeting the Gold Star Standards. Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Maine and the United States; the recognized hospitals are taking important steps to address this issue for patients, staff and the community.” For more information about the Tobacco-Free Hospital initiative and Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program, please visit MaineTobaccoFreeHospitals.org/GSSE.

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