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Aurora Health Care To Go 'Cold Turkey' Today

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wisconsin's leading health care system urges employees to quit smoking on Great American Smokeout day

Milwaukee -- Aurora Health Care, a leading not-for-profit, integrated health care system serving eastern Wisconsin, is urging its employees and hospital visitors to 'clear the air' and quit smoking today -- the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

Many of Aurora's facilities will offer variations of cold turkey lunches in their cafeterias as well as free smoking cessation materials. In addition, Aurora has been using its Intranet site, iConnect, to offer information on smoking cessation to all of its caregivers such as health ramifications, tips to control urges to smoke, cost benefits to quitting, and even recipes to prepare foods that can take the mind off of smoking. A quiz will be offered today to all caregivers where they may win a frozen turkey just in time for Thanksgiving.

"Aurora campuses have been smoke-free for over a year. That designation and today’s event are great examples of how we are demonstrating our commitment to total well-being not only for our patients but also for the 28,000 caregivers that are taking care of more than a million patients," said Bruce Van Cleave, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer of Aurora Health Care.

The statistics surrounding lung cancer are staggering:

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women
  • More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined
  • This year there will be about 215,020 new cases of lung cancer in the United States and about 161,840 people will die of this disease
  • On an annual basis secondhand smoke causes 3,400 lung cancer deaths in nonsmoking adults
  • Only about 4 out of 10 people with lung cancer are still alive 1 year after finding out they have the disease

"We applaud Aurora Health Care's efforts and creativity to encourage their employees to quit smoking using the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, " said Beth Brunner, Wisconsin Director of Healthcare Partnerships - American Cancer Society, Midwest Division.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of care. Aurora provides care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Peter Balistrieri (262-896-6449)

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