SIUH Gets Silver Star Status for Smoking Prevention Initiatives
For its success in trying to curb smoking rates for nearly 46,000 Islanders (according to nycsmokefree.org),
Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) has earned Silver Star status from the
state Departments of Health (DOH) and
North Carolina Prevention Partners.
"As wellness leaders we must tackle the battle against smoking and tobacco products to prevent illness in our community, and our efforts are shown through our Silver Star status" said Dianne Gonzalez, vice president, Ambulatory Service.
A participant in New York City's Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign, SIUH staff identify smokers among newly admitted patients and offer them cost-free support in kicking the habit. Education, ongoing counseling sessions and smoking cessation tool kits are also offered.
The hospital identified 2521 smokers from December 2012 to May 2013 with the hospital providing over 400 Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) at no cost to patients and Islanders.
SIUH will also be taking part in the State DOH's "Opt to Quit." The program offers a patient-consented follow-up to discharged smokers. The City's Health Department reports a smoker's progress to SIUH as part of the patient's medical record.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths each year, including approximately 49,400 deaths due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
SIUH's Smoking Cessation Program has been offering support to Island smokers since the early 2000s, and providing hundreds of NRT's each year since 2010.
SIUH was awarded Bronze Star status in 2012 for their efforts in creating a smoke free campus, restricting use of tobacco products on the grounds of SIUH North and South. SIUH is now setting its sights on the Gold, focusing on outpatient smoking prevention at both campuses.