JCHC Considering Policy Change To 'Smoke-Free' Campus

The Board of Trustees for the Johnson County Healthcare Center is considering a possible policy change to make the campus encompassing the clinic, hospital, and adult care facility as “smoke-free.”

The proposal was brought before the board at this week's meeting by Hospital Administrator Sandy Ward.

Ward told the board that the idea of changing the policy has come up before but has never been fully implemented.
Traditionally, residents in the adult care facility, employees and patients in the hospital have been able to smoke outside in designated areas.
Currently, none of the residents of the nursing home smoke, but they would not be allowed to smoke if they did due to issues with staff having to be outside with them while they smoked.

Employees of the healthcare center are allowed to smoke outside so far, but the proposal before the board will change policy and not allow employees to smoke on the hospital grounds.

Short-term hospital patients would still be allowed to smoke in certain outside areas, under the proposal.

According to discussions by the board and department heads at the meeting, some expect possibly losing some employees over the policy change if it is implemented, but Administrator Ward said the image portrayed to the public by employees smoking near the building was not a good image.

No decision was made at this week's meeting, but the board is expected to address the matter again at their February regular meeting.