Cary Medical Center earns Breathe Easy nod

CARIBOU, Maine — Cary Medical Center was recognized recently for achieving the Gold Award in the 2018 Gold Star Standards of Excellence Program for efforts to prohibit smoke and tobacco use on campus and address client tobacco use.  

This is the seventh consecutive year at the gold level and eighth consecutive year the hospital has participated in the initiative. Cary received the award at the 9th annual Tobacco-Free Hospital Gold Star Standards of Excellence Awards Celebration, hosted by the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breathe Easy initiative, held on Sept. 27 at the Maine Hospital Association in Augusta.  

The event, attended by hospital and public health stakeholders from across the state, recognized efforts by Maine hospitals to address tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.  Thirty-two hospitals and three individual Gold Star Champions were highlighted for their achievements in advancing their campus smoke and tobacco-free policies as well as promoting tobacco-free lifestyles.

“Using tobacco causes many diseases and affects the overall health of the body,” said Casey Bouchard of Cary’s communications and community relations office.  

“Quitting smoking or other forms of tobacco has benefits in the short and long term,” Bouchard said. “We of course, stress the importance to our patients about tobacco cessation and being a tobacco free campus further emphasizes our message on the importance of being tobacco free. We are thrilled to be recognized for our ongoing efforts.”

All Maine hospitals were invited and encouraged to apply for recognition; those that met at least seven of 10 Gold Star Standards were recognized with a plaque.  Award levels are based on best practice criteria such as a smoke- and tobacco-free campus policy, annual screening for tobacco use, referral to tobacco treatment and supporting employee education related to tobacco treatment.

At the celebration event, Kenneth I. Lewis, senior director for the Center for Tobacco Independence, stated, “Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death. We applaud these Maine hospitals for taking proactive steps to address tobacco use and exposure within their organization.”

For more information about Gold Star Standards of Excellence recognition program, please visit

Submitted by the Community Relations and Development Office of Cary Medical Center.

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