Beaufort Memorial Hospital Receives First Gold Star Award in SC for Employee “Quick Tobacco” Effort - Beaufort Memorial Hospital

Beaufort Memorial Hospital Receives First Gold Star Award in SC for Employee “Quick Tobacco” Effort

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3/21/2012 12:00:00 AM EASTERN
Updated: 3/21/2012 2:08:23 PM EASTERN
 For more information, contact Nora Kresch

Award recognizes hospital’s efforts to improve employee health and wellness

Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH), has been recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and NC Prevention Partners (NCPP) for providing the highest standard of excellence in employee quit tobacco systems for the tobacco cessation resources offered to their employees. It is the first hospital in 2012 to receive the award; the hospital joins seven SC hospitals in achieving this level of excellence.

Hospitals receiving this acknowledgment are considered Gold Star Hospitals as a part of the Working Well initiative. Funded by The Duke Endowment, managed by SCHA, and informed by NCPP’s success in developing infrastructure for effective worksite wellness programs in North Carolina, Working Well is an effort to improve the health of hospital employees across the state of South Carolina by establishing worksite wellness culture where the healthy choice is the easy choice.

In order to receive this recognition, BMH addresses several components of an effective quit tobacco system that are recommended by NCPP. "Beaufort Memorial’s journey to the Gold Star has been an impressive one,” said Jen Wright, Working Well Manager, SCHA. “Although they have been eligible for the Gold Star since last September, their wellness team was not satisfied with the current tobacco free signage. With the installation of additional tobacco free signs throughout their campus to adequately communicate, by their high standards, their policy to all who visit their campus they went on to successfully earn Gold.”

BMH employees who are ready to quit the use of tobacco are offered free nicotine replacement therapy and receive FDA approved prescription medications through CIGNA, BMH’s Health Care plan. BMH also offers its employees a variety of resources like the SC Quitline and self-help materials to assist them in making a successful quit. Online quit coaching as well as onsite classes using the American Lung Association’s (ALA) program, Freedom from Smoking, are available to employees. BMH, a designated Center of Excellence in the Working Well initiative, receives the first Gold Star recognition in 2012, the second year of Working Well implementation. They join only seven other SC hospitals in this prestigious ranking.

“We are proud that Beaufort Memorial is a Center of Excellence for Wellness in this statewide initiative,” said BMH President and CEO Rick Toomey. “Hospitals should be the model for a healthy work environment, and our goal is to be the best we can possibly be in the areas of nutrition, physical fitness, and promoting a tobacco-free environment. Being designated as a Gold Star organization in this endeavor is a real source of pride for all of us at BMH.”

About NC Prevention Partners:

NCPP is a leader in reducing preventable illness and early death in North Carolina caused by tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity. We helped North Carolina’s acute care hospitals go 100% tobacco free campus wide. We help employers create healthier workplaces, reduce costs and increase use of preventive health insurance benefits. Our mission as a non-profit is “Prevention first for a healthier North Carolina.”

About the South Carolina Hospital Association:

Founded in 1921, SCHA is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Columbia, SCHA works with its members to improve access, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all South Carolinians. The state’s hospitals and health care systems employ more than 70,000 persons statewide.

About Beaufort Memorial Hospital: Beaufort Memorial Hospital, opened in 1944, is licensed for 197 beds (169 acute, 14 rehab and 14 mental health). It is fully accredited by The Joint Commission and boasts a quality medical staff of more than 160 board-certified physicians. It is the only not-for-profit hospital between Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC, and is also the largest hospital between those cities.

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