Greenville Hospital System (GHS) located in the South Carolina Upstate has been recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and NC Prevention Partners (NCPP) for providing the highest standard of excellence for the tobacco cessation programs offered to its employees. 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 a worksite wellness culture where the healthy choice is the easy choice.
In order to receive this recognition, GHS addressed the key components of an effective quit tobacco system that are recommended by NCPP. GHS offers individual coaching, insurance rebates for non-tobacco users and tobacco cessation participation, free or reduced nicotine-replacement therapy and prescriptions for tobacco cessation medications in addition to strict tobacco-policies, enforcement, education and communication. All five acute care facilities within the system were recognized by Working Well as Gold Star Hospitals since each individual facility was graded and then confirmed as providing comprehensive quit-tobacco systems for all employees.
“We are proud that all five of our campuses have been awarded top honors by the S.C. Hospital Association for their tobacco-free initiatives,” said GHS President and CEO Mike Riordan. “This is a win for the entire system as well as the campuses – but, more important, our employees, patients and visitors.”
“Through a comprehensive policy with consistent messaging, paired with effective enforcement, GHS has established a system wide tobacco free culture that is easily identified at all five campuses,” said Jen Wright, Working Well Manager. “I have been on the campuses of GHS several times and have yet to see an employee or visitor violating policy. Nor have I seen cigarette butts on their grounds, even in the dark corners of the parking decks. A true sign of a tobacco free culture.”
Jen Wright, Working Well Manager, presented the Gold Star award to GHS’s hospital leadership during a leadership development meeting on September 19, 2012.