TRMC goes tobacco-free as part of wellness effort

Published 11:00 pm Friday, August 10, 2012

A health and wellness initiative under way at Troy Regional Medical Center continues this week as the campus goes tobacco-free.

“This is part of an ongoing health and wellness initiative here at the hospital,” said Jennifer Ventress, chief clinical officer. “We feel that as a health care provider in our community we should set the example and set the bar high.”

The program has included a wellness fair for employees, the addition of a walking trail on the campus and other initiatives. The move to go tobacco-free on Monday is a significant step.

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“We’ve gotten a fairly positive response to this,” Ventress said. “We know we’re going to have some challenges, and that this will be a difficult transition for some people, but hopefully we can set an example for wellness that others can follow.”

As of Monday morning, the use of tobacco products will be prohibited throughout the TRMC campus, including the adjacent physicians office complexes. The decision was endorsed by the hospitals board of directors, supervisors and managers and affects the nearly 230 employees, as well as physicians; patients; and visitors.

“We know there will be some challenges with this,” Ventress said, adding that the hospital is seeking alternative options to help ease those challenges. “We’re not asking our employees to quit smoking; we’re just asking them not to smoke while on campus,” she said. “And, for those who want to quit, we’re offering them help through programs and initiatives.”

The goal, she added, is to help improve wellness and health. “We all know that it’s much better to prevent sickness and disease than to wait and try to cure it,” she said.