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Published on September 26, 2013

SRHS Earns Gold Star Award

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS) has earned the Gold Star Award as part of Working Well, a collaboration between the South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) and Prevention Partners. 

SRHS includes Spartanburg Medical Center, Spartanburg Hospital for Restorative Care, and Village Hospital. Together these facilities were confirmed a Gold Star hospital system June 25 by Working Well staff. 

In order to be named Gold Star, SRHS had to reach the highest standard of excellence in providing employees with tobacco cessation resources and creating a comprehensive 100 percent tobacco-free environment campus-wide. 

To do this, SRHS implemented five key components of a quit tobacco system. These components are recommended by Working Well and include:

• Policy implementation and enforcement
• Development of a systems approach to quitting the use of tobacco
• Tying benefits to living a tobacco free lifestyle
• Incentivizing employees to stay tobacco-free
• Evaluating cessation programs for participation and effectiveness 

“It is an honor that all of our campuses have been recognized and designated Gold Star Hospitals for their work in creating comprehensive tobacco-free initiatives,” said SRHS President and CEO Bruce Holstien. “Working Well has encouraged us to create a culture of wellness where the healthy choice is the easy choice. This is a positive achievement for everyone in our community.” 

SRHS has implemented two different policies targeting tobacco-use on their campuses; one through Human Resources and the other through Risk Management. SRHS has also strategically place adequate signage around their campuses. 

To support employees interested in quitting the use of tobacco, SRHS offers free resources such as nicotine replacement therapy, Chantix (if eligible), classes and counseling. These policies and benefits are communicated to staff through flyers and the employee intranet. SRHS also has “script cards” that are handed out to policy violators to inform them of SRHS’s tobacco-free environment and to encourage smokers to extinguish the use of tobacco products.

In addition to offering free classes, counseling and nicotine replacement therapy, an insurance premium discount is given to those individuals enrolled in SRHS’s wellness program. 

“SRHS has strong executive leadership that is vested in population health improvement, as evidenced by their active participation on the wellness committee and visible participation in wellness initiatives,” said Jen Wright, Working Well Manager. “They are already making great strides toward the Gold Apple and Gold Medal. It won’t be long before they reach these recognition levels as well.” 

SRHS executive leadership and the Wellness Committee received the Gold Star Award during its monthly leadership meeting on Sept. 26.

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