Windham Hospital Now a Smoke-Free Facility
WILLIMANTIC, CT – November 20, 2008 – Effective on the date of the Great American Smoke-Out—November 20th—Windham Hospital became a 100% smoke-free campus. Ever the progressive organization, Windham Hospital was among the first of Connecticut hospitals to adopt the non-smoking policy. All Connecticut hospitals will become smoke-free by 2010, in accordance with an initiative championed by the Connecticut Hospital Association. The November transition to a smoke-free facility puts Windham in the forefront of Connecticut Hospitals, and creates an “clear-air oasis for patients, visitors, and staff.” According to facilities manager Ed Bussiere, “The smoking shelters which have been on the grounds of the Hospital have been removed, and donated to a non-profit organization.” Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the campus of Windham Hospital—including parking lots, sidewalks, gardens, and lawns.
“We are committed to a healthy hospital and a healthy lifestyle,” says organizer John Flood, who also serves as Windham Hospital’s Director of Cardio-Pulmonary Services, “and we hope many people will take advantage of this program and quit smoking.” Dr. Robert Bundy, pulmonologist, and the Hospital’s Medical Director adds, “Windham Hospital’s mission is not only to restore health, but to prevent disease and act as an advocate for healthy living. This initiative certainly reflects that mission of advocacy.”
Staff and community members celebrated the Smoke-Out on November 20th with “cold turkey sandwiches” served in the cafeteria, and a community kick-off event held in the Hospital Atrium, where representatives from the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the Connecticut Hospital Association, Windham Hospital’s Cancer and Oncology Departments, and the Hospital Employee Health Office were on hand to answer questions, distribute information, and encourage people to “kick the habit.”
“This is a great day for the entire community,” commented Dick Brvenik, CEO and President of the Hospital. “It only makes sense that a place of health care and wellness would promote an effort to help people attain better health. We are delighted to declare our facility tobacco-free!”