Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fauquier Hospital Goes Tobacco Free

On July 4, Fauquier Health System took an important step toward clearing the air. The health system’s Warrenton campus -- which includes Fauquier Hospital, Warrenton Overlook Health and Rehabilitation Center, the Medical Office Building on Hospital Hill, the doctors’ offices behind the hospital and the surrounding grounds – is now a tobacco-free zone beginning on Independence Day. It’s hard to miss the symbolism.

Health system president and CEO Rodger Baker said that he is delighted that Fauquier will join the thousands of other healthcare facilities around the nation in going tobacco free. “As the largest healthcare organization in the area, it is time for us to take a stand for the health of our community. Heart disease is a huge issue in our community, and smoking is a major contributor. We are very excited to be able to offer our patients and their families healthier surroundings, where everyone can breathe easier.”

Although steadfast in its commitment to a tobacco-free environment, health system leaders recognize that some staff, patients, volunteers and visitors do smoke. They understand that nicotine is highly addictive and quitting can be extremely difficult. Every effort is being made to ease the transition to a tobacco-free campus.

For patients who smoke, doctors can order a nicotine patch on admission. The patch, which releases nicotine through the skin, will ease cravings during a hospital stay.

Visitors older than 18 who smoke will be offered complimentary nicotine gum to chew while on campus, if they choose.

About 34 staff members are enrolled in a smoking cessation program offered by the Health System. Those trying to quit are working with anti-smoking coaches who offer support and encouragement. Medication and counseling supplement the program.

The health system hosted a community discussion on smoking cessation on July 2 at the hospital. The gathering was led by Dr. Robert Iadeluca, a clinical psychologist who is an expert on addiction.

The much-anticipated tobacco-free initiative is in keeping with other Fauquier Health System plans for a healthier community.

The recently renovated L.I.F.E. Center is a medically based fitness facility open to everyone. No physician referral is necessary.

The health system sponsors numerous community health screenings – for diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure and more – throughout the year

Educational offerings include the very popular Mini-Medical School and programs for new mothers. Lectures by local doctors – on joint replacement, sleep disorders or first aid, for instance – are regular features on the health system calendar.

A wellness program for employees focuses on nutrition, exercise and preventative care.

No comments: