Happy family enjoying a day at the park

Hospitals recognized as tobacco-free workplaces

SRHS hospitals achieve Gold Star Award for implementing tobacco-free best practices.

Pelham Medical Center and Union Medical Center were recognized by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s (SCHA) Working Well initiative and Prevention Partners for achieving the highest standard of tobacco-free excellence by creating a tobacco-free workplace and providing high-quality tobacco cessation programs for employees.

“We’re extremely pleased to be recognized in this way,” said Paul Newhouse, president of Union Medical Center. “We strive to provide excellence in health and keeping our associates healthy plays an important role in that.”

Organizations are awarded with Prevention Partners’ Gold Star for this achievement. In order to receive recognition, hospitals must institute a tobacco-free worksite policy, refer their employees to effective programs and counseling to help them quit smoking, provide comprehensive cessation benefits (nicotine replacement therapy and prescription medications) and offer incentives to encourage employees to quit using tobacco. These are among several evidence-based components recommended by Working Well and Prevention Partners for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems in the workplace.

“Pelham Medical Center strives to be a healthy campus,” said Tony Kouskolekas, president of Pelham Medical Center. “It’s wonderful to see our organization honored in this way.”

Prevention Partners works with the SCHA’s Working Well initiative to engage corporate leaders and staff throughout SC to enhance and sustain employee wellness efforts. These efforts are generously funded through the Duke Endowment.

“These hospitals set a high bar in terms of their cessation program for employees. Employees are provided every opportunity to be successful in quitting the use of tobacco, and all employees are protected from exposure to secondhand smoke at the workplace,” says Taylor Pritchard, strategic coaching senior coordinator at Prevention Partners. “I applaud their great effort.”

Spartanburg Medical Center received this designation in 2013.

About Working Well

Working Well is a statewide strategy to improve workplace wellness policies, systems and environments around tobacco cessation, healthy nutrition and increased physical activity so the healthy choice is the easy choice for employees across South Carolina.

About Prevention Partners

The nonprofit Prevention Partners builds healthier communities through a suite of products that guide schools, workplaces, hospitals and clinics to address the leading causes of preventable disease: tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity