Cary Medical Center Recognized for Tobacco-Free Achievements
Cary Medical Center among 33 Hospitals and 5 Healthcare Organizations Celebrated for Leadership through Annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program
Cary Medical Center was recently recognized at the PLATINUM level for the Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards from the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative. These awards recognize efforts by Maine hospitals to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure and was attended by hospital and public health stakeholders from across the state.
Cary’s Director of Community Relations, Bill Flagg, responded to the recognition by saying, “Cary Medical Center is committed to creating healthier communities which includes the prevention and treatment of disease. This commitment means that we are dedicated to maintaining a 100% smoke and tobacco-free campus which, in turn, provides patients, visitors, staff, and volunteers with a safer, healthier environment.”
The Gold Star Standards of Excellence provides an annual opportunity to recognize Maine’s hospitals for the work they have done to create tobacco-free environments and support healthy lifestyles. Hospitals are recognized at the bronze, silver, gold or platinum level based on how many of the 10+ best practice Gold Star Standards are met. 33 hospitals, 5 healthcare organizations and 5 individual gold star champions from across the state were recognized for maintaining high standards for smoke and tobacco-free campus policies, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment. Cary Medical Center was recognized for the second time at the Platinum level after achieving Gold level recognition from 2012 to 2018. To meet the platinum level, a new level introduced in 2018, hospitals must have met all ten Gold Star Standards and include specific policy language and strategies for five additional requirements.
“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,” says 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 US CDC states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
For more information about Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE.
The Breathe Easy Initiative at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence is dedicated to providing Maine’s hospitals with the information and resources needed to make all organizations 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.