Oconee Medical Center recognized as Gold Star

Oconee is providing the highest standard of excellence for the tobacco cessation programs offered to its employees.

Oconee Medical Center in Seneca, SC has been recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association and NC Prevention Partners 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 the South Carolina Hospital Association, and informed by NC Prevention Partners’ 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, Oconee Medical Center addressed the key components of an effective quit tobacco system that are recommended by NC Prevention Partners.  "We are proud to receive this Gold Star for the tobacco cessation programs we offer our employees. The Working Well initiative is important to us because we know healthy hospitals make healthy communities,” said President and CEO, Jeanne L. Ward.

Oconee Medical Center employees who are interested in quitting can participate in a free comprehensive cessation program that provides not only education to its staff, but also FDA approved Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). Oconee Medical Center also has strategically placed tobacco-free signage that supports and aligns with their tobacco-free campus policy along with an effective enforcement system. Oconee Medical Center received the Gold Star recognition in the first year of Working Well implementation, and joins just six other SC hospitals in this prestigious ranking.

The employee quit tobacco system at Oconee Medical Center is only one piece of their robust employee wellness program, Well Aware.  Well Aware provides onsite resources and support for all their employees and receives strong executive support from senior leadership.  Ms. Ward went on to add, “Oconee Medical Center has a great team that is also working on programs to accomplish the nutrition and physical activity components of Working Well. I am excited to think about the positive impact this program is having on the health and well-being of our employees."

Jen Wright, Working Well Manager, presented the Gold Star award to Oconee Medical Center’s executive leadership and members of their wellness team on Friday, January 6, 2012. 

About NC Prevention Partners:
NC Prevention Partners 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.”  www.ncpreventionpartners.org

About the South Carolina Hospital Association
Founded in 1921, the South Carolina Hospital Association 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. www.scha.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Cindy Floyd, Director of Wellness, Oconee Medical Center,  cindy.floyd@oconeemed.org, 864-885-7654.