BAR HARBOR — Mount Desert Island Hospital has been recognized for achieving the Gold Star Standard of Excellence from the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network for its effort to create a tobacco-free environment and support tobacco-free lifestyles. The awards were announced at a Sept. 15 ceremony in Augusta.
“Hospitals are health and wellness role models for their communities, so it is important for them to set an example around reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Sarah Mayberry of the Breathe Easy Coalition. “The Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Maine hospitals to create policies to address these issues.”
“MDI Hospital is proud to be recognized at the gold level for our commitment to maintaining a tobacco-free environment,” said President and CEO Art Blank.
Maine hospitals participating in the program are recognized at the gold, silver or bronze level depending on the number of evidence-based strategies they have met. MDI Hospital met all 10 standards for the highest level of recognition. In addition, Martha Bucklin of MDI Hospital was recognized as a gold star champion for offering free patient-centered, hospital supported smoking cessation support groups.
MDI Hospital is addressing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through comprehensive policies, education, social norm change, and treatment support. The 10 standards set forth by the program include creating a 100 percent tobacco-free campus, implementing evidence-based treatment strategies, divesting from tobacco industry stock, promoting smoke-free lodging options for visitors and providing tobacco treatment and medication benefits for employees.
Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country and a major contributor to health care costs.