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NMMC earns gold star for being tobacco-free

AUGUSTA, Maine — The 10th annual Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards Celebration, hosted by the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative, was held on Nov. 14 at the Maine Hospital Association.  

The event, attended by hospital and public health stakeholders from across the state, recognized efforts by Maine hospitals to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Thirty-three hospitals and four individual Gold Star Champions were highlighted for their achievements in advancing their organization’s smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.

Northern Maine Medical Center of Fort Kent was recognized for meeting the Platinum Level in the 2019 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program for efforts to prohibit smoke and tobacco use on campus and address client tobacco use. 

Joanne Fortin, RN, director of communications for the hospital, was nominated for the individual Gold Star Champion Award, which was presented to her by Aroostook County District Tobacco Prevention Partners Jo-Ellen Kelley and Kara Barnes. 

According to hospital officials, Fortin has created policies, hardwired tobacco-free processes and continues to validate the work that she initiated.

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