Twenty years ago, it was normal for hospitals to allow smoking in or near patient rooms. But with what we’ve learned about the dangers of secondhand smoke, hospitals no longer allow smoking in their buildings. This was a big step forward in creating a healthy environment for patients, staff, and visitors.
Now, hospitals are moving to take an even stronger stance against tobacco use by ensuring that their entire grounds – including parking lots, entryways, and outdoor shelters – are tobacco-free. Hospitals are also realizing the value of supporting their employees in quitting smoking, by ensuring that they have medicines and counseling to help them quit.
On January 5, the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) unveiled Healing Inside and Out: Massachusetts Tobacco-Free Hospitals, a new initiative to support hospitals as they move toward being completely tobacco-free. MHA developed the initiative in collaboration with the Department of Public Health.
Speaking at the initiative’s launch event, DPH Commissioner John Auerbach underscored the importance of smoke-free hospital campuses and helping people quit as a means of improving overall health, reducing chronic disease, and reducing the Commonwealth’s health care costs.
Pictured at the launch event are (left to right): David E. Storto, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network; Jaye Hefner, MD, Spaudling Rehabilitation Hospital physician and tobacco-free advocate; Lynn Nicholas, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Hospital Association; and John Auerbach, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
MHA has created an online resource center that provides implementation how-to’s, statistics, best practices, case studies, useful web links, a communications tool kit, and much more, at: http://www.mhalink.org/tobaccofreehospitals.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014