Army medical facilities to become tobacco free
September 20, 2012
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Sept. 20, 2012) -- Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, the surgeon general and commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Command, recently published her strategic vision for the Army Medical Department in the "Army Medicine Strategy 2020."
The mission of the AMEDD includes influencing health to improve readiness and advance wellness in support of the force, military families, and all those entrusted to AMEDD care. Horoho's three main strategic initiatives encompass how the AMEDD will create capacity, improve stamina and enhance diplomacy.
By creating capacity through optimization, innovation and organizational learning, health is maintained, restored and improved. Improving organizational stamina will improve organizational depth, resiliency and endurance. Enhancing medical diplomacy will shape the dialogue of health care delivery and individual health.
The goal is for Army medicine to be transformed from a health care system to a system for health.
One of the first directives by the surgeon general in embracing a system of health is that all Army Medical Department treatment facilities will become tobacco free.
Col. Danny Jaghab, commander of Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center, stated that "the policy directly supports the mission to promote and support the health and wellness of all staff and patients who work or receive treatment at AMEDD facilities."
As the Mahatma Gandhi stated, "you must be the change you wish to see in the world." This is the first change that will promote a healthy environment for all.
According to the Center for Disease Control, tobacco use is responsible for about one in five deaths annually in the United States, which is about 443,000 deaths per year -- an estimated 49,000 of these are the result of secondhand smoke exposure -- and on average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
Once the policy is in effect, tobacco use of any kind, to include smokeless tobacco, will be prohibited within Kimbrough facilities or on Kimbrough grounds. This will be an AMEDD-wide policy; it applies to all Army medical treatment facilities.
"The days of waiting for good health to arrive through a lifetime of bad health practices are unrealistic," said Jaghab. "We are proactively engaging our patients, our staff and our community to embrace the opportunities to maximize their wellness and to improve their health by setting the example."