FARMINGTON — The annual Gold Star Standards of Excellence Hospital and Healthcare Organization Program Awardees have been announced for 2020. The program of the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy Initiative recognized thirty-three hospitals, five healthcare organizations and five individual Gold Star Champions for efforts to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Celebrated organizations received a plaque for their achievements in advancing their campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.
Franklin Memorial Hospital was recognized for meeting the Platinum award level through the 2020 Gold Star Standards of Excellence program for efforts to prohibit smoking and tobacco use on campus and addressing client tobacco use. This was the eleventh year FMH has participated in the initiative showing a longstanding commitment to addressing tobacco use and exposure.
All Maine hospitals and healthcare organizations were encouraged to apply for recognition. This year marks the eleventh annual hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program and healthcare organizations were invited to apply for recognition for the first time. 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 2020, all participating hospitals were recognized at the silver, gold and platinum levels.
“We applaud the ongoing efforts of Maine hospitals and healthcare organizations to address tobacco use, secondhand smoke exposure and nicotine dependence by meeting the Gold Star Standards of Excellence,” says Kristen McAuley, Tobacco Prevention Services Director for the Center for Tobacco Independence. She continued, “Addressing tobacco use has continued importance during the current pandemic, as the US CDC states that being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.”
For more information about the Gold Star Standards of Excellence, please visit BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE.