The Health Promotion Council last Tuesday morning presented Fox Chase Cancer Center with its Smoking Treatment Accreditation & Recognition.
STAR is a tobacco treatment accreditation program funded through a grant from the state Department of Health.
Health Promotion Council’s Tobacco Prevention & Control Division developed the STAR program to support and recognize healthcare organizations that integrate professionalized tobacco dependence treatment into their existing workflow.
“Fox Chase Cancer Center is a shining star in that regard,” said Jamie Magee, director of the Health Promotion Council’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Services.
Magee noted that the ceremony was taking place a day before World No Tobacco Day, held every year on May 31. She shared a statistic that nine in 10 people who try tobacco for the first time are under the age of 18.
The STAR team provides technical assistance to all organizations, like Fox Chase, that seek to be accredited and supports them in meeting all the requirements for accreditation.
The Health Promotion Council partners with the University of Pennsylvania on the STAR program.
Dr. Frank Leone, director of Penn’s Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Programs and professor at the Perelman School of Medicine, said Fox Chase’s work was “exemplary,” helping it clear a high bar for STAR accreditation. That bar includes a long application and gathering of data.
Donna Edmondson, clinical director of the Tobacco Treatment Program in Fox Chase’s Section of Pulmonary, Sleep and Critical Care Medicine, noted that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths nationwide. Smoking, she added, is a leading contributor to the disease.
Edmondson said Fox Chase has been treating a lot more patients in the last two years, and thanked its pharmacy and Department of Medicine, adding that parent Temple has four trained tobacco specialists.
Fox Chase research professor Linda Fleisher explained that smoking is a difficult behavior to change. She thanked Edmondson, Fox Chase leadership, data collectors and the state for the grant, adding it will take a collaborative approach going forward as the cancer center launches new studies.
“We’ve come a long way and we have a long way to go,” Fleisher said. ••