GBGH celebrates smoking cessation efforts and looks toward new model to help patients quit
Members from Georgian Bay General Hospital’s (GBGH) Smoking Cessation Task Force and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) gathered at GBGH to celebrate the hospital’s efforts to reduce smoking on its property. Pictured from left: Ray Nason, co-chair, Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC), GBGH; Cindy Baker-Barill, program manager, Cental East Tobacco Control Area Network and Tobacco-Free Living; Glen Allen, manager, Facilities and Security, GBGH; Stephanie Patenaude, supervisor, Environmental Services, GBGH; Judy Schell, manager, Occupational Health & Safety, GBGH; Martin Kuhn, tobacco enforcement supervisor, SMDHU; Jacquie Belcourt, manager, Pharmacy, GBGH; Paul Clute, tobacco enforcement officer, SMDHU; Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH; Bill Whittaker, vice president, Human Resources, GBGH; Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health, SMDHU; Ted Lane, tobacco enforcement officer, SMDHU; Marg Thomson, PFAC, GBGH; Destinee Shepherd, public health nurse, SMDHU.
January 10, 2019 – Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) and the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) gathered to celebrate the past year’s progress as the hospital aims to reduce smoking on its property. As of January 1, 2018, all hospitals in Ontario are supposed to be smoke-free and vape-free as per the Smoke Free Ontario Act.
“We know that all hospitals in Ontario are supposed to be 100 per cent smoke-free and vape-free,” says Martin Kuhn, tobacco enforcement supervisor, SMDHU. “It’s an ongoing challenge for hospitals who are busy with so many other priorities, but at GBGH there has been a total team commitment in their objective to be 100 per cent smoke free – from Senior Leadership to the frontline security staff – and they’re making impressive progress.”
GBGH’s efforts to reduce smoking include bilingual signage throughout the property. Although the hospital does not have the authority to ticket, its Security team can now issue warnings to smokers on the property. The warnings were developed in consultation with the SMDHU and are the only ones of their kind (i.e. distributed by Security) among hospitals in Simcoe and Muskoka. Since beginning to hand out the warnings on November 15, 26 have been issued.
Tobacco Enforcement Officers do have the authority to ticket and have also increased the frequency of their visits to the hospital.
“GBGH’s Smoking Cessation task force has partnered with the health unit over the past year to make a concerted effort to reduce smoking at the hospital,” says Judy Schell, manager, Occupational Health & Safety (OHS), GBGH. “Our goal is for smoke-free compliance to be 100 per cent, but we understand it is an addiction. One of the ways we can assist our patients is by providing support to quit while in the hospital. To improve our identification of patients who smoke tobacco and increase offerings of nicotine replacement therapy, GBGH is proud to announce we are implementing the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation.”
The Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation is a proven process to assist in initiating smoking cessation in a health care setting. The Ottawa Model was developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and has been shown to increase the rates at which health care providers advise and assist smokers in quitting, increases long-term smoking abstinence rates, reduce future admissions to hospital based on smoking-related illness, and reduce premature risk of death.
Next steps toward implementing The Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation include reviewing GBGH’s existing nicotine replacement therapy program and beginning to train staff about assisting patients using the model.
Communications Officer, GBGH
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Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is a 105-bed acute care community hospital located in Midland, Ontario. The hospital offers emergency, ambulatory, inpatient, intensive and complex continuing care, as well as imaging, dialysis, obstetrical and rehabilitation services. GBGH serves the areas of Midland, Penetanguishene, Christian Island as well as Tay, Tiny, Springwater and Georgian Bay Townships.