Columbia Memorial Hospital will be participating in insurance billing for tobacco cessation counseling by the fall of 2005. This program is an outgrowth of Medicare's recent announcement to fund tobacco cessation programs.

Physicians and other Health Care Providers at CMH had the opportunity to learn the latest innovations in Tobacco Cessation. The training was provided May 11 by Dr. Charles Bentz, Medical Director, Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Providence Health System: Oregon.

Bentz is a frequent presenter nationally in all areas related to tobacco cessation, from best practices for tobacco cessation to lessons learned from his extensive experience in designing and implementing tobacco cessation programs.

"CMH is a leader in promoting tobacco cessation," Terry Finklein, CEO for Columbia Memorial Hospital, said. "We are one of the first hospitals in the country to establish a tobacco free campus and employ a tobacco cessation coordinator.

"Since tobacco related diseases are the most preventable of all fatal diseases, we feel strongly that it is our mission to offer every patient or community member the tools to quit when they are ready," he said. "We do this by employing a tobacco cessation specialist at the hospital and by insuring our medical staff has the latest information on cessation."

In addition to his presentation to physicians, Bentz offered training to Medical Office staff members on how to implement Tobacco Intervention as part of every day office practice.

CMH offers assessment, referral and counseling to any community member who may want to quit tobacco. Adult and youth programs are also available.

For more information contact Marilyn Schreiner, tobacco cessation Coordinator, Columbia Memorial Hospital, 325-4321.

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