Hospital clears the air

Posted: Monday, October 03, 2005

The Central Peninsula General Hospital Inc. Board of Directors is trying to set a good example.

Thursday the board approved new guidelines making the hospital campus tobacco free.

The board had voted in July to make the hospital tobacco free and instructed hospital administrators to prepare guidelines that effect the change.

The policy approved last week states in part: "... tobacco use is not permitted in any building or on the grounds of the main hospital campus."

Tobacco use also is banned from buildings leased by the hospital, including the Binkley Professional Building, Soldotna Physical Therapy, Kenai Physical Therapy, city hall office space, Kenai Health Center space and Serenity House.

The no-tobacco policy applies to employees as well as patients and visitors.

Employees and other staff members who use tobacco products will be encouraged to take part in tobacco cessation services offered by the hospital.

Patients will be offered medically appropriate Nicotine Replacement Therapy, according to the published policy.

The reason cited for implementing the new rules is that CPGH "is committed to providing healthy lifestyle role modeling for the community."

The board also approved establishing an injury prevention program through The Diligent Program, a division of Arjo Inc.

The program is designed to assist caregivers in moving patients in a safer, more structured setting.

The approved agreement calls for spending $29,891 on equipment and $350 per month for 36 months for ongoing clinical support services.

Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dave Gilbreath also reported to the board that hospital staff recently completed more than 40 consecutive days without an employee injury.

The board approved the purchase of six automated external defibrillators, which will be placed in the hospital cafeteria and at hospital locations off campus.

Besides the cardiac arrest device in the cafeteria, defibrillators will be placed in the Mundell Building, Kenai and Soldotna Physical Therapy, Soldotna City Hall, where the hospital has an information services technical department, and at Serenity House.

The board approved the purchase of the six defibrillators and one trainer for $13,200.

Gilbreath gave the board an update on the hospital's expansion project, saying the expected completion date of the new two-story wing has been moved up from the planned October-November 2006 target to August 2006.

He said the design phase of the remodel portion of the project will resume in late November.

Referred to as Phase 3, the remodel involves moving the cafeteria from the basement of the existing hospital building to the first floor, building a new patient corridor between the Emergency Department and the Operating Room, expanding ED into the new OR space, adding a dedicated C-section room and putting a new roof on the existing building to tie it in with the new wing.

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