UPMC | University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
EXTRA! - A biweekly newsletter for staff of UPMC
Friday, Nov. 17, 2006
Volume 17, No. 23
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Summary Plan DescriptionsArchivesUpcoming EventsResearch StudiesUPMC PerksSubmit a Story

Additional Articles
Break the cigarette habit

Chief communications
officer named for UPMC

Last chance for Open Enrollment

Some FSA cards to be reissued

Does UPMC have your correct mailing address?

Giving back through
United Way

Unused purchased PTO
paid out in Dec. 29 pay

Not too late to vaccinate

16th Annual Downtown YMCA Turkey Trot

UPMC embarks on innovative technology partnerships

Discover the gift of health with the YMCA

UPMC and YMCA partner
for wellness

Honoring UPMC’s ACES

Awards and honors

UPMC Imaging Services takes extra steps to meet customer needs

Community Care expands behavioral health services


Taking a stand on tobacco
UPMC endorses new law and supports a healthier environment

No smokingUPMC has taken a leadership position to clear the air and reduce exposure to a menacing public health hazard — tobacco smoke.

One of the first steps in this effort is the health system’s endorsement of a new law enacted by Allegheny County that prohibits smoking in workplaces and public places, including most restaurants and bars, and gives health care facilities the authority to implement campuswide smoking bans.

“We are committed to improving — and protecting — the health and well-being of our patients, our visitors, and our employees,” stated Elizabeth Concordia, senior vice president, Academic and Community Hospitals, and Gregory Peaslee, senior vice president, Human Resources, Facilities, and Construction, in a recent letter to county Chief Executive Dan Onorato.

“Therefore, UPMC fully supports the smoking law as written, and we unanimously endorse its provisions for health care institutions and surrounding properties,” wrote Ms. Concordia and Mr. Peaslee.

The ordinance is set to take effect in January 2007. And for UPMC, the decision to support its provisions and begin considering policies regarding tobacco use that may extend beyond the scope of the new county law supports the health system’s mission as the premier provider of health care services in western Pennsylvania.

There is now overwhelming medical evidence that shows smoking is a national health care problem. Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body and accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer deaths. Furthermore, even standing in close proximity to a smoker is a health hazard. Secondhand smoke is now classified as a cancer-causing agent by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

UPMC’s development of new smoking-related policies will be led by a multidisciplinary task force chaired by Kathryn Devine, vice president of Human Resources for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Community Provider Services, and International, and Ron Andro, vice president, Operations, UPMC Shadyside.

At the crux of the group’s work is the acknowledgment that UPMC, along with federal, state, and local public health authorities, shares in the responsibility to protect public health in the communities it serves. As part of its effort to meet that responsibility, UPMC will consider additional steps to limit tobacco use throughout its facilities, grounds, and adjacent properties while offering staff members and residents throughout the region access to effective resources to quit smoking.




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