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Designated Smoking Areas launching citywide at all hospitals

Joint LHSC and St. Joseph's logo


For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2009

(LONDON, Ontario) – In an important initiative aimed at creating a healthier hospital environment, effective today both London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London will significantly limit the outdoor areas where smoking is permitted by introducing Designated Smoking Areas (DSA’s).

This change will limit the areas where smoking can occur and move smokers away from hospital entrances. Smoking at hospital entrances has been a major concern of both visitors and staff. Smoking will only be allowed in the DSA’s — all other outdoor areas on hospital property will be smoke free.

“We recognize that for some groups, the introduction of designated smoking areas will be a difficult change and for many others, a long-awaited and welcomed one,” says Jim Flett, Integrated Executive Vice President Financial Services and Chief Financial Officer, London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London.

"Limiting the areas where smoking is allowed respects the rights of non-smokers not to be exposed to second-hand smoke, while recognizing the needs of those who smoke.”

"This decision to change our practices around smoking is in line with the values of both organizations, and supports our mandate as health care providers,” says Dr. David Hollomby, Citywide Chief of Medicine.

The implementation of the DSA's comes after an extensive review of the issues and approaches used by other health care organizations across North America.

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About London Health Sciences Centre
London Health Sciences Centre has been in the forefront of medicine in Canada for over 130 years and offers the broadest range of specialized clinical services in Ontario. Building on the traditions of its founding hospitals to provide compassionate care in an academic teaching setting, London Health Sciences Centre is home to South Street Hospital, University Hospital, Victoria Hospital and Children’s Hospital, two family medical centres, and Lawson Health Research Institute - a joint research initiative with St Joseph’s Health Care, London. As a leader in medical discovery and health research, London Health Sciences Centre has a history of over 30 international and national firsts and attracts top clinicians and researchers from around the world. As a regional referral centre, London Health Sciences Centre cares for the most medically complex patients including critically injured adults and children in Southwestern Ontario and beyond. The hospital’s 10,000 staff, physicians, students and volunteers provide care for more than one million patient visits a year.

About St. Joseph’s Health Care, London
St. Joseph’s Health Care, London is a major patient care, teaching and research centre with a distinguished legacy of service to London, Southwestern Ontario and the veterans of Canada, dating back more than 130 years. St. Joseph’s five key role areas include acute/ambulatory care, complex care and veterans care, long-term care, rehabilitation and specialized geriatrics and specialized mental health care. Facilities and services including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Parkwood Hospital, Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care and Regional Mental Health Care London and St. Thomas are part of the St. Joseph’s family. Our research arm, the Lawson Health Research Institute, continues to direct their research to the development of new knowledge that is continually being applied directly to patient care. More than 400,000 patients annually receive care from close to 6,000 physicians and staff at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s is affiliated with the University of Western Ontario.

For more information contact:

Sarah Corrigan Anne Kay
Corporate Communications and Public Relations

Communication Consultant

London Health Sciences Centre St. Joseph's Health Care, London
519-685-8500, ext. 77062 519-646-6100 ext. 44034
sarah.corrigan@lhsc.on.ca anne.kay@sjhc.london.on.ca

After-hours assistance:
Call LHSC Switchboard at 519-685-8500 and ask to page the communication consultant on-call