Message from Dean Goldschmidt and Dr. Roldan

Message from Dean Goldschmidt and Dr. Roldan

In our continuing effort to lead the way toward a healthier lifestyle, UHealth — University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health System (JHS) are taking steps to improve the health and well-being of employees, students, patients and visitors to our medical campus. Knowing that tobacco smoke is a proven health hazard to both smokers and non-smokers alike, and that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, we have decided that tobacco use is inconsistent with the health care mission of both the University of Miami and Jackson.

Therefore, beginning March 1, 2010, all property owned or leased by the University of Miami or Jackson Health System on this campus will become smoke free environments. This means that in addition to the buildings which are already smoke free, smoking will not be permitted in any outdoor areas on campus, including parking garages or in vehicles parked on campus.

By eliminating involuntary smoke exposure, we will ensure that we are creating a healthy environment for all people who receive medical care, work, study and visit UHealth and JHS facilities. A recent report by the Institute of Medicine further validates this action. Researchers nationwide, including here at the Miller School, examined studies from around the world and definitively determined that smoking bans in public places reduce the risk of heart attacks and heart disease from primary inhalation and second hand exposure.

We realize that overcoming a dependence on tobacco can be challenging. With that in mind, we will be assisting all employees, patients and students who wish to stop smoking. Both the University of Miami and Jackson will be offering a series of cessation programs and a wide range of supportive systems to help make this transition to a healthier lifestyle a success.

A dedicated and comprehensive Web page has been created listing all of the resources available to help anyone who is interested in quitting smoking. Simply look for the “Be Smoke Free” button displayed on UHealth, Miller, and Jackson Web sites. In addition, physicians and campus leaders will continue to provide education and outreach to those who require cessation resources. This campus-wide effort is sponsored by the University of Miami, Office of Community Health — Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program, which provides funding for many of the resources needed to undertake this initiative.

Over the next few days, signs will begin appearing, stating that campus properties will soon be “smoke free.” Vendors, delivery personnel and contractors will also be notified of the policy and required to comply.

As we go through this process, we are prepared to evaluate the effectiveness of all the programs being offered and adjust the availability as needed. Our goal will be to continuously offer encouragement and education toward a smoke free lifestyle. Violations of the policy will be addressed by the appropriate Human Resources representatives, emphasizing the promotion of improved health and availability of cessation programs.

As the health care leaders for South Florida, creating a healthier environment free of tobacco smoke for the thousands of people who receive care, work and visit our campus is a natural step for UHealth and Jackson Health System.

To help us kick off this initiative, we are hosting the Great American Smokeout in Alamo Park today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will promote smoking cessation awareness for our community. The theme of this year’s event is “Healthy Living.” We will have booths with information on smoking cessation, counseling, exercise programs and nutrition services.

We hope you will join us for this special event. Thank you for helping to make our smoke free initiative a success.

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D.
Senior Vice President for Medical
Affairs & Dean, University of Miami
Miller School of Medicine
CEO, University of Miami Health System

Eneida Roldan, M.D., MPH, MBA
CEO and President
Jackson Health System

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