On November 15, 2007, the 31st anniversary of the American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout, Georgia Health Sciences University, GHSU Health Inc., and GHSU Physician Practice Group (dba GHSU Medical Associates) became tobacco free.
The use of tobacco products of any kind was prohibited on all GHSU properties, including academic, research and clinical buildings, parking lots and green spaces on the main campus and at satellite facilities such as our West Augusta practice site and the College of Nursing facilities in Athens. This new policy applies to employees, students, patients and visitors.
Implementing this initiative was not an impulsive decision. Beginning in 2006, a task force of more than 40 representatives from the university, hospital and clinics worked for nearly a year to lay out a plan for a smooth transition to a tobacco-free environment. Internal audiences and hospital patients and visitors were surveyed, similar organizations that have implemented tobacco-free policies were asked to share their experiences and plans have been laid to support members of the GHSU community faced with the challenges of fighting their addiction. Prior to conslidation of Georgia Health Sciences and Augusta State University, an informal survey was distributed to students, faculty, and staff on the Summerville/Forest Hills campuses.
As Georgia's only health sciences university and the CSRA’s only academic medical center, our mission is to improve health and reduce the burden of illness in society. By adopting this existing tobacco-free initiative, the GRU organizations join numerous educational and health care facilities across the state and nation in protecting our employees, patients and visitors from exposure to secondhand smoke. This is an important step in fulfilling our role as healthcare leader in Georgia.
We hope you will take advantage of the resources provided by this Web site as well as the healthier environment of the GRU campus.