Pembroke Regional Hospital celebrates 10 years with the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation
Célina Ip / Daily Observer: Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) honoured 10 years of partnership with the Ottawa Heart Institute's Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC) with a celebratory event and commemorative plaque presented to them by representatives from the Ottawa Heart Institute on Dec. 2. Pictured (left to right), network manager for the Division of Prevention & Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute Kerri-Anne Mullen, PRH president and CEO Pierre Noel, PRH vice-president of patient services Sabine Mersmann, PRH respiratory therapist Jennie Mainville, PRH clinical manager for ambulatory programs Martin Burger, PRH registered practical nurse May Seto,and PRH registered nurse for the stroke prevention clinic Lisa Keon.
The Pembroke Regional Hospital celebrated 10 years of partnership with the Ottawa Heart Institute’s Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation on Dec. 2.
In 2002, smoking cessation experts at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) founded the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation (OMSC) – an institutional program that assists smokers through personalized, best practice tobacco dependence treatment, resulting in increased quit attempts and long-term cessation.
In 2006, UOHI began to assist other inpatient, outpatient and primary care settings in implementing the OMSC.
The model was successfully implemented at Pembroke Regional Hospital and at a number of other Champlain region hospitals including Renfrew Victoria Hospital, Queensway Carleton Hospital, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Winchester District Memorial Hospital, Hawkesbury General Hospital, Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital and Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital.
According to the Ottawa Heart Institute’s website, implementation of the OMSC led to an absolute 11% increase in long-term quit rates among hospitalized patients (from 18% to 29% at six months).
Across Eastern Ontario, a staggering 100,000 smokers have been reached through the treatment program and an estimated 25,000 are smoke-free as a result of the support they received.
Locally, since the program was implemented at Pembroke Regional Hospital in 2006, over 7,300 smokers have been reached and an estimated 2,200 are smoke-free as a result.
One of those individuals is Pembroke resident Don Grattan, who has been smoke-free nearly four years after smoking for more than 50 years.
Mr. Grattan said he had previously tried to quit smoking on his own without success and decided while admitted to hospital in 2013 that he didn’t need a cigarette and asked that his supplies be thrown out.
While in hospital, and as part of the OMSC program, he was provided with nicotine patches, but said he rarely used them. Upon discharge he was enrolled in phone call based followup and he said that he appreciated the phone support received as part of the program, adding that “the calls became like a reward” for his efforts.
His wife, Anna Mary Grattan said there is an “enormous weight lifted when a family member successfully quits smoking”.
“It is a huge relief to know that your loved one is healthier and will be able to spend more time with his family and granddaughters for years to come,” she said.
On Dec. 2, in celebration of Pembroke Regional Hospital’s 10-year partnership with the OMSC, representatives of Pembroke Regional Hospital and the Ottawa Heart Institute gathered together at the hospital’s cafeteria to offer remarks on the milestone and recognize it with a commemorative plaque.
Sabine Mersmann, vice-president of patient services, seniors and community care at the Pembroke Regional Hospital, shared how the program has helped their patients completely turn their lives around by quitting smoking and achieving a better quality of life in turn.
“At any time of the year, even when it was minus 30 degrees, we would have patients standing outside our front doors in gowns and slippers with their IV poles beside them while they’re smoking,” said “We no longer have that happening because we adequately treated those patients with nicotine replacement therapy through this model program and now they no longer have this tremendous addiction or need anymore.”
Kerri-Anne Mullen, network manager with the Division of Prevention & Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, shared how Pembroke was the third of 350 sites across Canada to implement the model.
Mullen expressed how the Pembroke Regional Hospital staff have continuously gone above and beyond in successfully implementing the model and offering exceptional support in helping their patients on the road to smoking cessation.
“Pembroke Regional Hospital has taken a lead in recognizing that the most important thing they can do for their patients is to help them deal with their tobacco dependency to help them quit smoking and to do so while they’re in the hospital,” said Mullen. “They've been able to more quickly identify smoking on admission and very quickly give their patients the support and the treatment that they need. They’re really systematizing and embedding the model within the hospital from admission to discharge and that has certainly made all of the difference in giving top quality care to patients.”
Mullen added that working on the model has provided her with immense fulfillment in knowing that she’s helping to save a life every time a smoker graduates from the program.
“Over the past 10 years we’ve been saving lives with this model. Everyone who is a part of this program absolutely can share in the knowledge that with every patient they help they're actually saving lives in the end,” said Mullen. “We are adding years to these people’s lives and there's absolutely nothing more important that you can do in terms of a job. There's absolutely nothing I've worked on in my life that has been as important and had such an impact.”