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Published on October 09, 2013

UHS launches program to help patients stay tobacco free



UHS News Release
Release:  Immediately
Contact:  Jon Tooley, 762-2336 or community_relations@uhs.org

October 9, 2013


UHS Wilson Medical Center and UHS Binghamton General Hospital recently began a new program to help patients stop using tobacco products. In partnership with the New York State Smokers’ Quit Line, the two hospitals implemented the “Opt to Quit” program in early October.  

UHS Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Laura Schutt, RN, MSN, said that, at the time of admission, all hospitalized patients are now asked about their use of tobacco and their smoking history.  If the patient is a smoker, a case worker visits them during their stay and offers to connect them with the Smokers’ Quit Line.

“The patient can opt out of the program, but obviously our goal is for all smoking patients to ‘Opt to Quit’,” Ms. Schutt said. “If the patient agrees to participate, a representative of the Smokers’ Quit Line calls them within 72 hours of their hospital discharge. They receive a free starter kit of nicotine patches and telephone counseling with trained quit coaches.”

Ms. Schutt said typically the Quit Line counselors continue to make follow-up calls with the patient for up to one year. 

UHS also provides individual and group counseling for tobacco cessation by phone or in person at the UHS Stay Healthy Center at the Oakdale Mall. Each Monday evening Laura Schutt hosts a tobacco cessation class at the center from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The classes are free and no pre-registration is necessary. For more information, call UHS Nurse Direct at (607) 763-5555 or call Laura Schutt at (607) 763-5091.

UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services from more than 60 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.
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