Scott & White Healthcare to implement tobacco-free hiring policy

CENTRAL TEXAS, Texas – Scott & White Healthcare—Bell County's largest non-government employer—announced today it will require new hires to be tobacco-free starting January 1, 2013, a move in step with other national health care leaders, including Baylor Health Care System and Cleveland Clinic.

The requirement expands the health care system's policy which makes all Scott & White facilities smoke-free. "We take great pride in our standing as a recognized leader in health care and believe it is important that we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to world-class patient care," said Robert W. Pryor, MD, MBA, president and CEO of Scott & White Healthcare. "It would be difficult to be a credible role model if we support a habit that is proven to lead to disease, disability and death."

Beginning in 2013, job seekers applying for positions at Scott & White will be asked about their tobacco use during the pre-employment process. Those acknowledging they use any type of tobacco product will be ineligible for further consideration. In addition, new staff starting work on January 1 and beyond will be randomly tested for tobacco use.

Staff currently employed by Scott & White will be exempt from the new requirement. But they have been urged to enroll in smoking cessation classes and participate in other healthy lifestyle offerings available through Scott & White.

"Scott & White has a unique perspective on tobacco use and its impact on chronic disease," said Dr. Pryor. "We know that smoking not only causes cancer, but it is also a factor in heart disease and stroke. Even those of us who are non-smokers are at risk through second-hand smoke. We have an obligation to not only treat disease, but also prevent it and protect others from potential harm."

The new staffing policy will be in effect for all Scott & White hospitals, clinics (excluding hospital partners Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center and Metroplex Health System) and affiliated business such as Scott & White Health Plan and Scott & White Hospice and Homecare. There are currently 14,000 employees working for the Scott & White service area, which covers 29,000-square-miles.

For more information, download Tobacco-free Hiring Q&A PDF Document

About Scott & White Healthcare (sw.org)
Scott & White Healthcare is a non-profit collaborative health care system established in 1897 in Temple, Texas. Among the leading health systems encompassing one of the nation's largest multi-specialty group practices, Scott & White provides personalized, comprehensive health care enhanced by medical education and research. Scott & White Healthcare includes 12 hospital sites with two additional announced facilities, and 178 clinics at more than 65 clinic locations throughout Central Texas providing adult and pediatric care in 46 medical specialties. Integrated, high-quality care is delivered by a dedicated staff of more than 14,000 (including 1,000 physicians and scientists and more than 300 specialized health care providers).

Scott & White, A World of Healing

For more information, contact:

Scott Clark
Media and Public Relations
Scott & White Healthcare
sdclark@sw.org

November 15, 2012


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