MaineHealth Local Hospital Systems Recognized for Tobacco-Free Achievements
November 18, 2020
PORTLAND, MAINE — The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Breathe Easy initiative has recognized all 12 MaineHealth hospitals and affiliates for their efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. The 2020 Gold Star Standards of Excellence program celebrates achievements in advancing campus smoke- and tobacco-free policies and promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.
All Maine hospitals and health care organizations were encouraged to apply for recognition, with the opportunity to be recognized at the Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels. 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. In 2020, all participating MaineHealth hospitals were recognized at the Gold or Platinum levels.
“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and healthcare organizations to address tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and nicotine dependence by meeting the Gold Star Standards of Excellence,” said Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services Director for the Center for Tobacco Independence. She continued, “Addressing tobacco use has continued importance during the current pandemic, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
In additional to organizational awards, applying hospitals were invited to nominate an individual or department that had championed tobacco-free efforts at their organization for recognition. Two of the five individual Gold Star Champions for 2020 were Casey J. Ellis and Leanne Temple of Waldo County General Hospital.
The Breathe Easy initiative at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence is dedicated to providing Maine hospitals with the information and resources needed to make their organization smoke and tobacco-free. The program is funded by Maine Prevention Services. Maine Prevention Services is an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity.
2020 Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awardees:
Franklin Memorial Hospital
Maine Medical Center
MaineGeneral Medical Center
Mid Coast Hospital
New England Rehabilitation Hospital
Pen Bay Medical Center
Southern Maine Health Care
Spring Harbor Hospital
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center
Waldo County General Hospital
Stephens Memorial Hospital
Individual Gold Star Champions:
Casey J. Ellis, Waldo County General Hospital
Leanne Temple, Waldo County General Hospital
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit family of high-quality providers and health care organizations committed to the health and well-being of the communities and people we serve. As the largest health care organization in Maine and a leading health care provider serving northern New Hampshire, MaineHealth is recognized as one of the nation’s top integrated health care delivery networks. Learn more about MaineHealth.