Mid Coast Hospital Maintains Gold Star for Addressing Tobacco

Mid Coast Hospital’s Tobacco Educator Stacey Schmidt, RRT, (left) receives a gold level recognition plaque from the Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network.
At a September 15 awards ceremony at the Maine Hospital Association in Augusta, the Breathe Easy Coalition celebrated the efforts of Maine hospitals to address smoking and tobacco use on their campuses. The event highlighted the 2016 Maine Tobacco-Free Hospital Network Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program award winners including Mid Coast Hospital.

"Hospitals are health and wellness role models for their communities, so it is important for them to set an example around reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke,” said Sarah Mayberry of the Breathe Easy Coalition. "The Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program is an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Maine hospitals to create policies to address these issues.”

The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence program recognizes health care organizations for their efforts to address best practice standards around tobacco use, exposure and quitting supports. Mid Coast Hospital was recognized at the gold level in the 2016 program. In keeping with its mission to provide a healthy and safe environment to employees, patients, and visitors, Mid Hospital expanded its smoking policy in 2014 to include a comprehensive tobacco-free policy on all of its campuses.

Stacey Schmidt, RRT, Tobacco Educator with Mid Coast Hospital’s Center for Community Health & Wellness commented, "Our comprehensive system-wide, tobacco-free policy is an example of our dedication to the health of our patients, staff, and visitors. By creating healthier environments for people to live and work, we can help prevent chronic diseases and provide more opportunities for wellness in our community.”

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the country and a major contributor to health care costs. "Meeting these standards requires hard work and commitment from these health care organizations, and the Breathe Easy Coalition of Maine is pleased to be able to honor their dedication," said Mayberry.