News

Barnabas Health Will Maintain and Expand
Two Tobacco Quit Centers as State Funding Ends For All Centers

As the New Jersey state budget eliminated funding for New Jersey’s seven tobacco Quit Centers on June 30, Barnabas Health announced it would independently continue to maintain tobacco treatment services at its two Quit Centers of the Institute for Prevention of Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Network. The Centers currently serve employees, patients, families and communities throughout the 50 System facilities in the north and south and all surrounding communities.  Moreover, because the Quit Centers will no longer be regulated by state funding, the System can now expand to previously restricted areas such as youth and schools.

“We are absolutely committed to a smoke-free environment,” said Ronald J. Del Mauro, Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System.  “As the largest provider of health care in the State of New Jersey, we are obligated to create a healthier environment for patients, employees, visitors and the community.  Despite being faced with the most difficult times in the history of health care, the funds expended to support this program are crucial in advancing the mission of our System.”

Since the beginning of the program, over 20,000 New Jersey residents have benefited from the services of Barnabas Health Quit Centers to help them quit their tobacco use.  With quit rates ten times higher than the rates of people attempting to quit on their own, the Quit Centers have made a significant impact on countless lives.  Recognizing the importance of these Centers that would otherwise close, Barnabas Health has committed $206,000 to ensure the Centers’ services remain available.

According to Connie Greene, Vice President of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System Institute for Prevention, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.  In addition to serving our current population, we plan to expand services in our communities.  We are looking to include treatment and prevention services to youth as a vital part of decreasing the harm caused by tobacco.  The formation of an advisory panel will ensure the highest standard of care will be maintained and best practices will be included in all our tobacco treatment services.”

Barnabas Health’s leadership role in protecting the health of all of their employees, patients and visitors has served as a model to other hospital systems in New Jersey and received national recognition.  Our innovative package of wellness benefits, including free counseling and over-the-counter and prescription medicines to help employees quit smoking, has recently been recognized by the prestigious CEO’s Roundtable on Cancer with the Cancer Gold Standard Accreditation. The designation involves five pillars of wellness with only 50 companies nationwide having met the requirements.

The increased visibility that the System’s campus-wide smoke-free policy at all 50 of its facilities and the Cancer Gold Standard has brought to the programs has meant a 150 percent increase in enrollment overall over the past two years, Ms. Greene reports.

Barnabas Health Quit Center program includes: Tobacco Treatment Specialists from The Institute for Prevention who reach out to our patients and community through educational and outreach programs, and participation with Cancer Coalitions and Public Health Departments. Smokers are scheduled for a free comprehensive tobacco assessment at which time the level of nicotine addiction is determined and a quit smoking plan is developed for that individual. The patient is then enrolled in a quit program (minimum of 6 weeks) and will meet each week for 60-90 minutes individually and or in a group support session.  There is no cost for any of the System’s 18,200 employees for this program which includes nicotine replacement and prescriptions.  For all others, the 6-week plan is $15 per session. For information, please call the Institute for Prevention for northern New Jersey at 973-926-7978; and for southern New Jersey; 732-886-4149.

Ellen Greene
VP, Marketing and Public Relations
Barnabas Health
973-322-4018

 

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