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Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network Recognizes Stephens Memorial HospitalSharon Buffington Accepts SMH Gold Level Award

The Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network, in collaboration with the Partnership For A Tobacco-Free Maine, held an awards celebration at the Maine Hospital Association on March 21st to recognize hospitals for taking steps to create tobacco-free hospital environments and supporting tobacco-free lifestyles for patients, staff and the community.  The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence awards program celebration highlighted the efforts of 29 Maine hospitals and 6 hospital champions.  Amongst this year’s honorees was Stephens Memorial Hospital receiving a gold level award.

The Gold Star Standards of Excellence program is an opportunity for hospitals to be recognized for meeting at least six of ten evidence based strategies, including adopting a tobacco-free campus policy, providing readily available tobacco cessation for staff and patients, divesting from all tobacco investments and recommending community lodging that is smoke-free.  More than 70% of Maine hospitals participated in the 2012 program and were recognized at the gold, silver or bronze level, which is the highest level of hospital participation since the program was first implemented.  “By meeting these standards, hospitals all across Maine, both urban and rural, have taken critical steps to provide a healthier environment by addressing the leading cause of preventable disease and death – tobacco use,” said Sarah Mayberry, Director of the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network. 

The celebration provided an opportunity for each hospital to be recognized for their efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure through policy and procedure changes.  Representatives from recognized hospitals attended the event and accepted plaques highlighting their hospitals accomplishments. 

By addressing tobacco use and removing secondhand smoke from the hospital campus, these hospitals are leading the way for healthier communities.  To learn more about the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network and the Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit


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