Hospital Honors Three As Tobacco-­Free Community Champions

02/15/16

The Health Promotion Center of Glens Falls Hospital has announced its Living Tobacco-Free Community Champions honorees for 2015. They are:

  • Tim Szczepaniak, Supervisor of the Town of Ballston;
  • Peter Trout, Director of Clinton County Mental Health & Addiction Services;
  • Steve Valley, Director of Essex County Mental Health.

Supervisor Szczepaniak was selected for his commitment to improving the health of his community through tobacco-free initiatives. In 2015, the Ballston Town Board passed a resolution to make their parks 100% electronic cigarette and tobacco-free. In addition, Supervisor Szczepaniak has demonstrated an interest in pursuing regulations that would reduce tobacco marketing to youth in his community, and has offered to be a resource for other municipalities interested in creating tobacco-free areas.

Mr. Trout and Mr. Valley have both demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing the need for a comprehensive, population-based approach to treating tobacco addiction in their respective mental health agencies. In 2015, each administrator oversaw a multi-staged process that included: passage of a tobacco treatment policy with associated protocols; expansion of electronic health record systems to improve documentation of tobacco interventions; clinician training to support effective delivery of tobacco treatment; and the development of performance improvement plans for 2016. Earlier this month, both systems began implementing an institutionalized tobacco treatment program that will contribute to their constituents’ health and wellness. Clinton County and Essex County Mental Health were supported in this initiative by the North Country Healthy Heart Network, a subcontracting agency working with Glens Falls Hospital on this initiative.

The Health Promotion Center of Glens Falls Hospital works to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities of Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton and Montgomery counties through a variety of state-funded initiatives, including Living Tobacco-Free. The initiative is funded through two state grants, Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities and Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free NY. North Country Healthy Heart Network supports the Health System for a Tobacco-Free NY initiative in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and Hamilton counties.