TMC facilities to become tobacco-free effective November 20

A countdown to better health is on at Texoma Medical Center. As a provider of healthcare services it is only natural that TMC and all of its locations become tobacco free.

Beginning November 20, 2008, TMC will not permit the use of any type of tobacco product in its buildings, on its grounds, or in privately-owned vehicles on its property.

For the past few months, TMC has begun to educate employees, patients and visitors to this new policy by posting signs throughout its facilities.

“Our property services department has even created a “count-down” wheel with educational material on the effects of smoking,” says Hattie Powell, TMC Compliance Officer and Tobacco-free Committee chairman.

“We understand that this will be a change for some people and we wanted to give tobacco users plenty of knowledge that this is coming.”

According to Powell, “Our goal has always been to be tobacco-free when we move into our new hospital. But as we’ve been planning for that new facility, it became obvious that there is no reason to wait. The effects of tobacco use are well documented and it only seems fitting that we begin now to help anyone that comes to our campus to be able to breathe freely. For patients, tobacco aids can be prescribed by their physician to help them with their nicotine cravings while in our care.”

In an effort to encourage employees to kick the habit, TMC is reminding them about the availability of participation in several tobacco-use cessation programs.

“We value our employees and want to support them in any way that we can, whether it’s by helping them to quit using tobacco products or to get involved in an exercise program.” says Bill Heinzmann, TMC Human Resources Director and committee member.

On November 20, also the date of the American Heart Association’s Great American Smokeout, TMC employees will be able to participate in a system-wide kickoff that will include education and giveaways.

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