— By CHRISTIN COYNE
The Parker County Hospital District board of directors voted Thursday afternoon to put in place a tobacco-free workplace policy.
With board member Nolan Queen voting against, the board approved the policy banning tobacco use on all district-operated property.
Though it had been discussed by various people in the past, the issue was placed on the board’s agenda at the request of Dr. Kris Wusterhausen, the medical director of Campbell Clinic, district CEO Randall Young told the board.
Wusterhausen communicated that the issue was affecting how the clinic operates and he believed the district should be setting a better example, Young said.
Use of any tobacco products by employees, patients, visitors and contractors on district property or in district vehicles is prohibited under the new policy.
According to the approved policy, the district will display signage in all facilities, grounds and vehicles and provide written policies to employees and others.
The new policy was expected to affect primarily clinic employees, as well a few LifeCare paramedics who smoke.
They will offer cessation treatments one time for current employees, according to Young.
The hospital, operated by Community Health Systems, already has a tobacco-free policy in place, board member David Barbrick confirmed for the board.
It’s hard to police out in the parking lot but they don’t find people milling around the doors like they used to, Barbrick said.
Fewer employees at the hospital have been smoking since they’ve been required to walk to the curb to smoke, according to Young.
District HR Director Todd Clawson also told the board he expected the move would help save on health insurance costs.