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Cary Medical Center receives a Gold Star for addressing tobacco use

CARIBOU, Maine — At an awards ceremony in September at the Maine Hospital Association in Augusta, the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine celebrated the efforts of Maine hospitals to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses.

 The event highlighted the 2017 Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program award winners including Cary Medical Center in Caribou.  Thirty (30) Maine hospitals and three individual champions are being recognized for their achievements in advancing their organization’s smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles in their communities.  

“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.”

The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence program recognizes healthcare organizations for their efforts to address best practice standards around tobacco use, exposure and quitting supports. Cary Medical Center was recognized at the gold level in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 programs.  Kris Doody, RN and CEO at Cary Medical Center said that the hospital continues to advance a non-smoking agenda.

“We recognize, as a health care institution, the dangers of tobacco”, said Doody.  “We were one of the first hospitals in Maine to go to a smoke free campus and we continue to look at additional ways to reduce the rate of smoking in our service area.  We appreciate the work of the Breath Easy Coalition and we are very pleased to have been recognized at the Gold Level once again this year.”

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country and a major contributor to health care costs.  “Meeting these standards requires hard work and commitment from these health care organizations, and the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine is pleased to be able to honor their dedication,” said Mayberry.

Maine Hospitals Being Recognized in 2017:

Gold Level – 30 Hospitals: Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, Cary Medical Center, Central Maine Medical Center, Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, Down East Community Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Franklin Community Health Network, Houlton Regional Hospital, Inland Hospital, LincolnHealth, Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, Maine Medical Center, Maine General Medical Center, Mayo Regional Hospital, Mercy Hospital, Mid Coast Hospital, Millinocket Regional Hospital, Mount Desert Island Hospital, Northern Maine Medical Center, Pen Bay Medical Center, Penobscot Valley Hospital, Rumford Hospital, Sebasticook Valley Health, Southern Maine Health Care, Spring Harbor Hospital, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Stephens Memorial Hospital, The Aroostook Medical Center, Waldo County General Hospital, York Hospital

Silver Level – 2 Hospitals: Calais Regional Hospital, Redington-Fairview General Hospital

Bronze Level – 2 Hospitals: Maine Coast Memorial Hospital, New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland

Bronze Level – 1 Hospital: New England Rehabilitation Hospital

Individual Gold Star Champions: 3 Champions – Casey Lancaster, Southern Maine Health Care; Penny York, Stephens Memorial Hospital; Tobacco-Free Policy Committee, St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center

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