Wing to Be Smoke-Free June 1

PALMER – Wing Memorial Hospital & Medical Centers has announced its plan to be a smoke free facility effective June 1.

The new policy will apply to all parking lots and walkways at each property owned and operated by Wing Memorial Hospital including the hospital itself, the Griswold Center building, and the Wing Medical Centers in Belchertown, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, and Wilbraham.

“This initiative is part of our mission because as a leading provider of healthcare in the Quaboag Hills region, we are dedicated to the health care and overall wellness of our patients and employees,” says Charles E. Cavagnaro, III, MD, President and CEO of Wing Memorial Hospital & Medical Centers.

In addition, the policy is designed to reduce the risk of fire hazards associated with smoking, said Ron Krystofik, co-chair of the hospital’s Smoke Free committee and director of Wing Memorial’s cardiopulmonary department. The Smoke Free Committee at Wing Memorial Hospital is comprised of both smoking and non-smoking staff members representing several departments within the Wing Memorial system.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 430,000 people nationwide die prematurely each year from smoking related diseases. While this figure may not seem that large, 430,000 people would include the populations of Belchertown, Brimfield, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Granby, Holyoke, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, Springfield, Wales, Ware, Warren, Westfield, West Springfield, and Wilbraham combined!

“It is recognized by the hospital administration and medical staff of Wing Memorial Hospital & Medical Centers that smoking and secondhand smoking is hazardous to the health of our employees, patients, and visitors,” said Anne Grace, co-chair of the Smoke Free committee and director of education at Wing Memorial.

“We are making sure that our employees and patients are aware of this plan and our communications efforts will be increasing right up until June 1,” said Bill Russo-Appel, director of marketing and public relations at Wing Memorial.

For Quaboag Hills residents who wish to stop smoking, Wing Memorial Hospital and Medical Centers offers a smoking cessation program through hypnosis, which is offered the 3rd Thursday of every month from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the hospital. Call 413-284-5251 to register for the class.

A resource guide from Wing Memorial is now available for residents and outlines the various smoking cessation resources that are available. For a free copy, please stop by the main lobby of the hospital or visit one of the five medical centers in Belchertown, Ludlow, Monson, Palmer, or Wilbraham.