SOMC to screen new employees for tobacco use

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) announced on Monday, starting from November 15, they will be screening all external hires for tobacco.

“We want to make our patients to feel that they are in healthy facility,” said Randy Arnett SOMC President and CEO. “Part of the way we can do this by making sure that they are in the care of people who have made a serious commitment to good health. In a report published in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Health Institute, titled “County Health Rankings and road maps, a healthy nation, county by county,” is Scioto County as one of the unhealthiest counties in Ohio. In the annual report, examines every county in the United States and ranks them at the state level based on the health status and factors.

Scioto County is the 87th of the 88 counties of Ohio health and 88 health factors. Health Outcomes - rankings are based on an equal weighting of one length of life (mortality) measure and four quality of life (morbidity) measures. Health Factors - The rankings are based on the weighted evaluation of four types of factors: health behaviors, clinical care), social and economic (seven measures), and the physical environment. “

Arnett said that health ranking, which showed Scioto be one of the least healthy Ohio counties included in the decision to adopt this policy. “The percentage of tobacco users in Scioto County is the highest in the country per capita,” said Arnett. “This is a distinction that we, as responsible health care provider, can not miss. We will do our part to turn those numbers around, continuing to offer free smoking cessation classes for employees and the public, preventing others taking this dangerous habit in every way we can. ‘

According to information published SOMC “, according to recent data, 36 percent of Scioto County residents smoke, or to admit the use of tobacco related products. Half of all smokers suffer deaths related to tobacco, and 19 percent of all deaths in Scioto County were related to tobacco use.” SOMC was a tobacco-free facility since 2007, and will begin the selection of new external hires for tobacco use on November 15, the same day as the Great American Smoke Out.

Once the new policy is adopted, SOMC join Cleveland Clinic and the Geisinger Health System, which adopted similar policies. “Our long-term goal is to improve the health of our communities and our workforce,” said Vicki Noel, SOMC Vice President of Human Resources issued a statement. “We are constantly changing our processes to make it happen. The reality is that people who use tobacco products have higher medical costs, live on less and are at higher risk for chronic diseases of tobacco. We want to change that, and we start the change by taking a long hard look in the mirror. “

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