Wake Forest Baptist Receives First Gold Star Award from NCPP for Tobacco Cessation Programs

January 27, 2010

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is the first hospital in the state to earn the Gold Star Standard from N.C. Prevention Partners (NCPP) for providing the highest standard of excellence for tobacco cessation programs offered to employees.

NCPP is a leader in reducing preventable illness and early death in North Carolina caused by tobacco use, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity.  The organization works with the state’s hospitals and medical centers to enhance tobacco cessation efforts and resources available to all employees and patients.

“This award shows our commitment to helping our employees and visitors to be tobacco free and our support for them to quit if they are tobacco users,” said Bob Parker, vice president of support operations and community health at Wake Forest Baptist. “We’re committed to improving their overall health and quality of life.”

To achieve the Gold Star Standard status, Wake Forest Baptist has shown a high level of commitment for its tobacco cessation program. The Medical Center refers its employees to effective quit tobacco counseling, provides comprehensive benefits (nicotine replacement therapy and prescription cessation medications) and offers incentives to encourage employees to quit tobacco use, all of which is done through ActionHealth, the employee health program. These are among several components recommended by NCPP for comprehensive quit-tobacco systems in hospitals. NCPP’s work with state hospitals is funded by The Duke Endowment and is in partnership with the N.C. Hospital Association.

“We are so proud of the hospital’s achievement. They are saving lives and also setting a high bar for other hospitals in North Carolina and the nation to follow. I applaud them,” said Melva Fager Okun, senior program manager with NCPP.

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