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Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital Earn Gold Star Tobacco-Free Awards

November 17, 2020

Contact:
Jenifer Harris, Communications & Public Affairs Director
207-505-4192 / jharris@mainehealth.org

ROCKPORT, Maine — Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC) and Waldo County General Hospital have earned top honors for prohibiting smoking and tobacco use on campus and addressing patient tobacco use, and two WCGH care team members received individual honors for supporting these efforts.

The Gold Star Standards of Excellence Hospital and Healthcare Organization Program recognized PBMC and WCGH with its platinum level award and presented individual Gold Star Champions awards to Casey Ellis, MA, and Leanne Taylor-Temple, MA, both of WCGH Orthopedics.

“The efforts of Casey and Leanne exemplify how committed care team members at PBMC and WCGH are to improving the health of our communities,” said Mark Fourre, MD, president of PBMC and WCGH. “We don’t just treat people after they develop health issues. We want to help them lead healthier lives.”

The 11th annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Hospital and Healthcare Organization Program Awards are part of the Breathe Easy Initiative of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence. All Maine hospitals and health care organizations were encouraged to apply. This year, the awards program recognized 33 hospitals, five health care organizations and five individuals.

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.

“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and health care 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. “Addressing tobacco use has continued to be important during the current pandemic, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”

For more information about the Gold Start Standards of Excellence, please visit www.BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE.

About Pen Bay Medical Center
Pen Bay Medical Center is part of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of eight local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit pbmc.org.

Waldo County General Hospital
Waldo County General Hospital is part of MaineHealth, a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of eight local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,600 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With more than 19,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. For more information, please visit wcgh.org.

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