On Thursday, November 17, the states three major health systems announced at a press conference their plans to move toward tobacco-free campuses in the facilities that are part of their health systems. Representatives from Avera, Regional Health, and Sioux Valley Health Systems announced their campuses will adopt a tobacco free policy effective
The announcement coincided with the American Cancer Societys 29th Annual Great American Smokeout
"This is an exciting time for our organization to partner with other health care organizations and the governor in leading this effort which will lead to better health for our patients, visitors, physicians, and employees," said Becky Nelson, President of Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center. "We celebrate this day along with the American Cancer Societys 29th Annual Great American Smoke out."
At the press conference, Governor Rounds applauded the health care organizations for the initiative.
"A tobacco-free campus might seem like a natural step for a health care institution to take. However, these facilities are also large employers and they face the same issues and challenges any employer does in going tobacco-free," said Governor Rounds. "That's why I appreciate their leadership in this initiative and the wonderful example they're setting for all employers."
Rounds also announced the States executive branch offices will join the effort and become tobacco free, effective
Businesses and organizations interested in joining the tobacco free initiative can find more information at www.healthysd.gov or contact the Tobacco Control Program with the South Dakota Department of Health at 605-773-3737 or 1-800-738-2301.