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 November 14th 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 campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.
All Maine hospitals were encouraged to apply for 2019 recognition. Participating organizations that met at least seven of ten standards were recognized with a plaque. 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. In 2019, all participating hospitals were recognized at the silver, gold and platinum levels. To meet the platinum level, hospitals must meet all ten Gold Star Standards and include specific policy language and strategies for five additional requirements.
At the celebration event, each hospital was recognized with a plaque, celebrating their efforts. At the celebration, Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services Director for the
Center for Tobacco Independence
stated that, “Hospitals serve as examples for health and wellness in their communities, having strong policies and procedures addressing around tobacco use and exposure sends an important message.” She continued, “Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death, we applaud these 33 Maine hospitals for their ongoing efforts to meet the Gold Star Standards of Excellence.”