- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Twin County Regional Healthcare and affiliates announced more than a year ago plans to join neighboring hospitals and health systems to become tobacco-free campuses on January 1, 2010.
Just two days before the ban, the countdown continues.
On Nov. 19, TCRH celebrated the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout theme to “help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays” and took additional steps to become a tobacco-free campus by providing educational items, as well as by removing one of the designated smoking booths at the hospital.
The other two smoking booths will be removed Friday.
This initiative will eliminate all smoke-free tobacco products, as well as cigarettes.
“Our mission is to promote, preserve and restore the health of our community. As a healthcare organization, we are committed to the health and safety of our employees, patients and visitors,” said Jon Applebaum, TCRH president and CEO. “We believe that we have a responsibility to take a leadership role on this major health issue. The tobacco-free initiative is a concrete way we can demonstrate our ongoing commitment to healthy living.”
Smoking has not been permitted inside the hospital or inside the clinics for a number of years. This new initiative will expand campus-wide at Twin County Regional Hospital, including all affiliates such as Galax Family Care Center, Pediatric Family Care Center, Twin County Rheumatology, Twin County Urology, The Wellness Center and Twin County Ear, Nose & Throat.
“Informing the public has been and continues to be a very important part of our initiative. We want to make sure our employees, patients and visitors are aware of our plans and the January 1 date to be tobacco-free,” said Cathy Blevins, registered respiratory therapist and TCRH Tobacco-Free Committee chairperson. “We feel strongly of the importance of this initiative and to the improvement of the health of our community. We will have in place alternatives to help employees and patients to remain tobacco-free on campus.”
According to a November 2006 staff survey, only 10.9 percent, or 69 of 629 TCRH employees, are smokers.
Tobacco cessation information and classes have been offered for the past year and will continue to be offered for employees and the community. Patients who use tobacco products will be provided Nicotine Replacement Therapy upon admission if approved by their attending physician.
Visitors will receive pocket-size cards to remind them about the tobacco-free campus policy, along with a phone number they can call if they are interested in one of TCRH's tobacco cessation classes.
“We are asking our community members to become our partners in health to make this tobacco-free initiative successful,” encouraged Applebaum.
“A smoke and tobacco-free campus is for the health of our patients, visitors and staff,” said Martha Cole, TCRH's director of marketing. “The surrounding hospitals are all tobacco-free and as of December 10, restaurants in Virginia are smoke-free and on January 2, restaurants in North Carolina will be smoke-free, which indicates the trend is to improve the health of the smoker, as well as the non-smoker who could otherwise be exposed to the detrimental effects of secondhand smoke. Our tobacco-free campus is another way to demonstrate our commitment to health living for the community.”
• For more information about this initiative or for steps to become tobacco-free, please call the Twin County Regional Hospital’s Respiratory Therapy Department at (276) 236-1746 or the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345
or visit www.tcrh.org or www.cancer.org.