January 20, 2020
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MDI Hospital recognized for tobacco-free achievements

Community Author: Oka Hutchins
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MDI Hospital | Contributed
MDI Hospital | Contributed
MDI Hospital community health educator Mary Parham (right), accepts the Platinum Level Gold Star Standard of Excellence Award from MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence Program manager Barbara Ginley (left).

BAR HARBOR—Mount Desert Island Hospital has been recognized for achieving Platinum Level in the 2019 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program from the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network for its efforts to create a tobacco-free environment and support tobacco-free lifestyles. Program awards were announced on Nov. 14 at a ceremony at the Maine Hospital Association in Augusta.

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 support.

“MDI Hospital is proud to be recognized at the platinum level for our commitment to maintaining a tobacco-free environment,” said president and CEO Art Blank.

During the event, hosted by the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative, 33 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.

Maine hospitals participating in the program are recognized at the platinum, gold, silver, or bronze level depending on the number of evidence-based strategies they have met. MDI Hospital met all 10 standards for the highest level of recognition.

“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,” said Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services director for the Center for Tobacco Independence.

MDI Hospital is addressing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke through comprehensive policies, education, social norm change, and treatment support. The ten Gold Star Standards of Excellence set forth by the program include creating a 100 percent tobacco-free campus, implementing evidence-based treatment strategies, divesting from tobacco industry stock, promoting smoke-free lodging options for visitors, and providing tobacco treatment and medication benefits for employees.