What began as a necessary part of the accreditation process for FMH’s Stroke Center has turned into a hospital-wide clearing house for the Healthcare System’s participation in community events. In July of 2009 Cherie Hyssong, RT, Coordinator of the Pulmonary Lab, was asked to develop a more robust Smoking Cessation program, and to market the program more aggressively to the Frederick community. The establishment of this program was essential to the hospital gaining recognition as an accredited Stroke Center.
The first thing Cherie and fellow Respiratory Therapist Shanna Figgins did was enroll in a Smoking Cessation Facilitator Program offered by the American Lung Association (ALA). They both completed the course and are Certified Tobacco Educators. Utilizing a curriculum developed by the ALA, Cherie and Shanna created a 7-week smoking cessation program called “Freedom From Smoking.” They began by offering this intensive, individualized smoking cessation program to all FMH inpatients. Last fiscal year, 2,248 patients took advantage of the smoking cessation services. The program proved to be so successful that the team expanded beyond the walls of hospital to offer their services to the community at large. The program is now offered as a community service 6 times throughout the year.
Not content to reach out just to those who have already been captured by nicotine’s cruel addictive allure, Cherie and Shanna developed a tobacco education and prevention program. This program is offered to Frederick County Public Schools and through the Frederick Police Department’s Sagner Activity Center. So far they have reached more than 200 children in the Frederick community.
Recognizing the potential for reaching the community through formalized education programs, Cherie and Shanna, both Certified Asthma Educators (AE-C), developed a program to help those afflicted with asthma better manage the disease and control symptoms. They offer the program to all FMH inpatients and have now made the program available to the community as a public service. The Frederick County Board of Education has approved our FMH Asthma Educators to work with health teachers to offer a class called Asthma 101. This is a 30 minute presentation to increase asthma awareness and promote self management techniques among the students and school staff.
The ladies co-chair an asthma steering committee, established to pursue certification as an “Asthma Center of Excellence”. When the hospital’s new pediatric ED opens, the team plans to implement a Pediatric Asthma Care Plan so the hospital is able to participate in the pediatric asthma core measures established by The Joint Commission.
Cherie and Shanna represent FMH by attending Health Fairs throughout the Frederick Community. On September 11th, they will be participating in the Health and Fitness Block of Frederick’s In The Streets.
The Community Outreach Program is also organizing an FMH Team to participate in the American Heart Association’s 2010 Heart Walk, on November 6th, at the National’s Stadium in Washington DC.