Excela Health to stop hiring smokers

Excela Health to stop hiring smokers

Posted in the Latrobe Forum

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Cathy

Pittsburgh, PA

#1 Aug 8, 2008
Three cheers for the decision by Excela Health to stop hiring smokers as of August 11th. As an employer, the hospital knows that smokers will have more sick days and more medical costs on employee insurance than nonsmokers.

Furthermore, patients will not have to smell the stink of smoke on the health-care workers treating them.(And smokers should be assured they and their clothing do stink. It's only because of what their habit has done to their sense of smell that they cannot detect the stench themselves.)

I have often been struck by the ironic juxtaposition of a health-care facility with uniformed workers lined up outside the exits puffing away.

For children who need to learn about the danger of smoking, health-care workers who stink from their last drag set a terrible example.
deb

Pittsburgh, PA

#2 Aug 8, 2008
This is wrong and bullshit!! You can smoke and your place of work should say your not allowed. I would rather tell people not to go to that hospital. After all they cant do much they always send people to other hospital anyway.
joe

Pittsburgh, PA

#3 Aug 8, 2008
Smoker have rights too!! It is time to starting fighting for are rights too.
Derry Resident

Pittsburgh, PA

#4 Aug 8, 2008
What about the people that work there already and smoke do they lose their jobs?
Cathy

Pittsburgh, PA

#5 Aug 8, 2008
Derry Resident wrote:
What about the people that work there already and smoke do they lose their jobs?
I heard they will be encouraged to quit smoking, they already are not allowed to smoke anywhere on the property while they are working.
testy cool

Pittsburgh, PA

#6 Aug 9, 2008
juxtaposition? is that in the kuma satra?

whats next not hiring people who socially drink?, overweight? etc...
Reality Intrudes

Greensburg, PA

#7 Aug 11, 2008
By this logic, Excela should be able to not hire women ages 20-40. After all, women in their childbearing years take more time off, incur more medical expenses (i.e. childbirth and labor), etc.

Or is it just okay to discriminate against smokers because it's a habit we don't like?
raym

United States

#8 Aug 11, 2008
How much time off does an aids infected homosexual get? Seems to me their lifestyle is by far more health risky. But that would be discrimination, right?
Jake

Pittsburgh, PA

#9 Aug 11, 2008
I noticed that Excela Health will no longer hire individuals who smoke.

Even as a nonsmoker, I was disappointed that a major employer would walk down this slippery slope of lifestyle control.

The spokesperson stated it was to set an example of good health for the community at large. I think there are other ways of promoting good health, such as rewards, rather than extortion and blackmail. It reminds me of the horror story where the mob got into the anti-smoking business and when someone backslid the mob cut off a finger. The success rate became pretty good.

The slippery slope is now opened up to other lifestyles against which the hospital wants to set an example. A dangerous precedent indeed.

This is the sort of thinking that leads to authoritarianism and totalitarianism. It is not the sort of action one should be proud of in a free society.
Jackie Galloway

Pittsburgh, PA

#10 Aug 14, 2008
As a professional health-care worker as well as a smoker, I'm dismayed about Excela Health's Hospital's new hiring policy.

It won't be long before many work applications will begin with one question:''Do you smoke?'' If yes, you may leave. If no, you may go on to the next question. Education, experience, past work record, proficiency and skill are for naught if you don't get past the first question.

If I were to need emergency health services I'd want to know that the nurses, doctors, x-ray technicians, etc. are competent and good at what they do. It would never cross my mind to ask if they were smokers.

Smoking is just the beginning. Next will be trans fats, obesity, seat-belt violators, single parents and on and on.

I believe this was tried 75 years ago in an attempt to create a master race of pure, healthy, beautiful people. They, too, were to be role models for the less desirables.

It starts with smokers, an easy target. Smoking is entirely indefensible with only one weak argument it's legal. Many of us who smoke just wish it would be made illegal. It's a terrible addiction.

If all of this persecution of smokers is for our own good, just quit selling cigarettes. Show us you really do care. Oh wait the government needs our tax dollars. Oh yeah, they also need to be able to offer them tax-free to our healthy young military personnel to legally sedate them so they can continue to protect the ''freedoms'' we have left.

However, they are trying to help me. I can call a help line and talk to some 19-year-old kid who has never smoked, whose answer to my addiction is for me to suck on a piece of hard candy (sugar free, of course).

So, America, carefully watch the persecution of the smoker because your perfectly legal demographic profile may be next.

If after I've been fired for being a smoker and have quit smoking due to not having money to buy them, will I then become employable?

And in the not-so-distant future if I'm walking down the sidewalk, 25 pounds overweight, having just eaten off the 99-cent menu at a fast-food restaurant, will I be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor?
Reality Intrudes

Greensburg, PA

#11 Aug 15, 2008
Never in my life have I heard someone say, "Smoking must be okay because I see doctors and nurses doing it." People look to healthcare professionals to provide healthcare--not to be role models. Stop worrying about "the community" and start worrying about making the best hospital possible. If you're turning away qualified applicants because they smoke, then you're doing a disservice to your patients.
April Baker

Pittsburgh, PA

#12 Aug 24, 2008
Where will this excess of rules, laws and regulations end? Another Nazi Germany? Maybe the Soviet Union didn't disband, perhaps it just annexed us and, as with so many other things, we were lied to about it.
HGT

Latrobe, PA

#13 Mar 16, 2009
Cathy wrote:
Three cheers for the decision by Excela Health to stop hiring smokers as of August 11th. As an employer, the hospital knows that smokers will have more sick days and more medical costs on employee insurance than nonsmokers.
Furthermore, patients will not have to smell the stink of smoke on the health-care workers treating them.(And smokers should be assured they and their clothing do stink. It's only because of what their habit has done to their sense of smell that they cannot detect the stench themselves.)
I have often been struck by the ironic juxtaposition of a health-care facility with uniformed workers lined up outside the exits puffing away.
For children who need to learn about the danger of smoking, health-care workers who stink from their last drag set a terrible example.
Well cathy they haven't done this yet. Guess you were wrong.
Rj Reynolds

Pittsburgh, PA

#14 Sep 9, 2010
I am not a smoker, my wife s
ones and it is rather foul smelling. But, so is my flatulance. Aside from the dangers, you all have the right to do what you want to do. We've banned it in public places. You know the whole tired notion of constitutionality, as long asyour pursuit of happiness doesn't interfer with someone elses rights. So, what behaviors does Cathy engage in that cause her to miss work. Does she have kids? Will she have kids? Those kids will bring home illnesses from school. What does Cathy drink? How much? Have you ever drank too much and had a hangover, missed work, smelled like zoo breathe? Does Cathy drive too fast? Without a seatbelt, or does she use her phone while driving. Does she ride motorcycles with her husband. Does her diet intake of saturated fat exceed the recomended daily intake? What other behaviors does Cathy engage onthat could cause her to miss work? What diseases? Arthritis, frybromyalgia or does she engage in weekend sports activities. Is she a runner, she might have to have knee surgery. Bootomline is it is social engineering, and people like Cathy who live and breed and do not understand civics, law, history or any other complex issue turn to the "feel-good express". People Cathy exhibit nothing but personal relevance and emotionalism, without a Socratic thought process anywhere in their brains. Buck up everyone, Cathy is the new age half-wit we all have to confront.
Someone

Pittsburgh, PA

#15 Sep 9, 2010
What will the corners around the Hospital do without the smokers?
tom

Acme, PA

#16 Sep 9, 2010
tobacco nazis ! they want to ban smoking anywhere in the parks too! they should concern themselves with their own vices, gambling, drinking, etc...
SumGoy

Wexford, PA

#17 Sep 9, 2010
Don't pick on my tobacco and i won't pick on your weight!
Redneck

Kittanning, PA

#18 Sep 9, 2010
After Latrobe Hospital was taken over by Westmoreland Hospital of Greensburg (they called it a "merger" but everyone knows what it really was), it has been one long slide downward for employees. The employees that are left show a great deal of compassion and concern for patients, but how far and thin can you spread such competence?

They are constantly remodeling areas that don't need it, moving entire wards and departments that don't need to be, and getting rid of good employees while keeping nightmarish upper management. It is little surprise that such new personally intrusive hiring policies are being implemented. I guess it is supposed to look good to the general public and insurance carriers. Just like so many new departments that are constructed for patient care that cost millions of dollars only to be understaffed with workers, this new policy is just another new item to be added to the window dressing.

As another poster mentioned, I would be more concerned with the skill level, dedication, and experience of hospital workers rather than their smoking habits. But what can one expect when the hospital is now run by PR and legal priorities instead of medical and patient care ones. Expense is no object when it comes to window dressing and upper management compensation, but watch the purse strings tighten at the mention of hiring more nurses or aides to actually tend to patient's needs.

Ahhh, but business is business and hospitals are big business today for those at the top of the food chain. Maybe a patient gets TLC, but only as much and as often as the budget allows. It sure ain't your grandma's hospital anymore.
Lord of Karma

United States

#19 Sep 9, 2010
tom wrote:
tobacco nazis ! they want to ban smoking anywhere in the parks too! they should concern themselves with their own vices, gambling, drinking, etc...
The man does already. If you are fat over weight and generaly un healthy you will be required to participate in excersize programs or you will pay a significant insurance penalty. And If you are fat/obese and are caught out in public eating things that are unhealthy, the man will encourage healthy folks to call the 1 800 hot line and report it. Any more, items that are billed as unhealthy are going to cost you extra or even a loss of coverage, because they figure if you can afford to be a fat cat you can afford to pay for your medical your self. Welcome to the new world order. This is how the man will turn us against each other. Fat against healthy, rich against poor, and most certainly young against old.
Interesting

Latrobe, PA

#20 Sep 9, 2010
As someone thoroughly involved in the fitness industry as well as the health care industry, I can't help but understand why your premium may need to be higher if you're not willing to take 1 or 2 healthy steps towards healthy living to compensate for poor decision making (most childhood and adult obesity, smoking, alcoholic cirrhosis).

My employer requires employees to verify regular checkups, or counseling on health related issues, or enrollment in an exercise regime. You are not denied medical coverage, but are granted decreased deductibles.

Smoking ravages your body (lungs and smallest blood vessels), as does extra weight. Of course, many health care concerns are not preventable but one of our biggest issues in America is the lack of preventative care resulting in ridiculous health care costs (diabetes, heart disease, vascular disease of any kind). A little bit of attention to our personal responsibility of healthy living seems appropriate.

Should employers be required to pay increased insurance package costs for some personal health issues that may be preventable at the employee level? Healthy living incentives and initiatives do cut costs for businesses -- this is the new movement. Unfortunately for some -- being denied coverage due to unmanaged obesity or smoking history is the new norm.

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