News

Barnabas Health Participates in Unified Effort Against Tobacco

Community, Monmouth and Kimball Medical Center Campuses
to Become Smoke-Free in November

TRENTON, N.J.---- Barnabas Health Health Care System Executive Vice President Fred Jacobs, MD, JD, and former Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, joined representatives from a group of over 20 New Jersey hospitals and health care organizations to announce a unified effort to ban smoking on all hospital campuses. 

Dr Fred Jacobs
Fred Jacobs, MD, JD, Executive Vice President for Saint Barnabas Health Care System gives closing remarks at NJ Hospital Collaborative Press Conference held in Trenton at the State House on Tuesday.

 

 

At a press conference held in Trenton yesterday, the American Cancer Society joined leaders from major hospital systems and other healthcare organizations across the state to announce the New Jersey Tobacco-Free Hospital Campus Collaborative.  The coalition consists of more than 20 hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout New Jersey, including Barnabas Health affiliates Community Medical Center in Toms River, Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood, and Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Center in Toms River. 

These systems, through a partnership with the American Cancer Society, are committed to working together to create a healthier environment for their patients, employees and visitors by eliminating the use of all tobacco products throughout their entire campus.  The majority of the campuses, including Saint Barnabas southern region hospitals, will be tobacco-free by the Great American Smoke Out on November 20.

“As the largest health care system in the state, Barnabas Health embarked on this important initiative, named by our employees as ‘Clean Air for Health Care,’ to ensure a healthy and smoke-free environment for our patients and their families, our employees and our physicians,” said Fred Jacobs, MD, JD.  “Barnabas Health is fully committed to this initiative which is essential to foster the sense of health and healing that is paramount to our hospitals and health care facilities.” 

An important component of the smoke-free campus initiative is helping employees, patients and family members quit smoking.  Tobacco dependence treatment is available System-wide through our Institute for Prevention to both employees and the public.  Employees can take advantage of quit meetings offered at every one of our locations with flexible times to accommodate different shifts. Treatment services are also available to the public through a comprehensive eight-week quit program.

The tobacco dependence program consists of a one-on-one tobacco assessment, individualized treatment plans, and an eight-week group quit program.  Participants have access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (nicotine patches, gum, lozenges) at a discounted rate. Prescription medications can also be prescribed.
All system employees who complete the tobacco dependency treatment program will receive 80 percent reimbursement for nicotine replacement therapy and for the 8-week treatment program. 

All inpatient smokers will be offered Nicotine Replacement Therapy to assist them while they are hospitalized, and will also be provided with information about our smoking cessation programs.
For the past six months, the System has provided education and information to employees, physicians, families and patients about the upcoming policy change.  The northern facilities of Barnabas Health will soon follow in 2009 during the second phase of this initiative. 

 “This initiative speaks to the quality of healthcare in New Jersey and the dedication of the health systems to the well-being of their patients, employees and visitors,” said Frank P. Mascia, III, executive vice president for the American Cancer Society of New Jersey.  “Our health systems recognize that the fight against tobacco will take a tremendous, unified effort and have come together in an historic campaign that will have a positive impact on thousands of lives.” 

For more information about our smoking cessation programs or to learn more about the Clean Air for Health Care initiative, please call Barnabas Health - Health Care Link at 1-888-724-7123 or log onto our website at www.instituteforprevention.com.

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