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Media Contact: Tom Grant
tgrant@adventisthealthcare.com
301-315-3356

Published on November 09, 2007

Press Release

Adventist HealthCare to Become Tobacco-Free on November 15

Will join hospitals in Montgomery and Frederick counties as part of Tobacco-Free Hospital Collaborative

Rockville, Md. – All Adventist HealthCare facilities in Maryland will join hospitals in Montgomery and Frederick counties in becoming tobacco-free on Thursday, November 15, to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

Smoking is already prohibited inside Adventist HealthCare facilities, which include Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist Behavioral Health Services, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland and Adventist Senior Living Services.

This new policy extends the smoke-free zone and prohibits the use of tobacco products anywhere on the exterior campus of each facility.  The policy applies to all employees, patients, physicians, contractors and visitors. The use of tobacco products will be prohibited in personal vehicles on the property as well as on any sidewalks or streets within each facility’s boundaries.

“This initiative truly demonstrates the Adventist HealthCare mission of ‘demonstrating God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing,’” said William G. “Bill” Robertson, President and CEO of Adventist HealthCare. “As a health-care organization, we have a unique responsibility to lead by example in promoting healthy living. It is also our heritage as a faith-based organization.”

The Seventh-day Adventist Church , with whom Adventist HealthCare is affiliated, took an early stance against tobacco use in the 1800s. And Adventist HealthCare’s hospital in New Jersey, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center , has been tobacco-free for more than a year.

Since April, Adventist HealthCare has been offering free tobacco cessation choices to employees and their immediate family members. These include classes and nicotine replacement therapy.

Last year, Adventist HealthCare joined with area hospitals to form the Tobacco-Free Hospital Collaborative as part of an ongoing effort to reduce the harmful effects caused by the use of tobacco products and to improve the health and welfare of the communities they serve. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States , where it is responsible for about 438,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 38,000 people die because of secondhand smoke exposure, the agency says.

Members of the Tobacco-Free Hospital Collaborative also include Frederick Memorial Hospital, Holy Cross Hospital, Montgomery General Hospital and Suburban Hospital.

Members of the public interested in more information about smoking cessation help and classes, should call Adventist HealthCare’s Health and Wellness Department at 1-800-542-5096.

Adventist HealthCare, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Rockville, Maryland, is one of the largest employers in the state of Maryland.  The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing. Adventist HealthCare includes Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital, Adventist Behavioral Health Services, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, Adventist Senior Living Services, Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Adventist Home Health Services, the Reginald S. Lourie Center for Children and Infants and LifeWork Strategies.

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