When New Hanover Hospital enacted its smoking ban several years ago, residents in the Glen Meade Road area were reassured that hospital employees would not be allowed to smoke in our neighborhood. Despite repeated complaints to the hospital, including to President Jack Barto, hospital workers, construction workers, and guests continue to smoke while they pace the sidewalks in the area. These smokers leave thousands of “butts” strewn around, along with trash, food, and other reminders of their presence. Along with this trash comes the unnerving aspect of having strangers standing within close proximity of your home at all hours of the day. Why does the hospital continue to allow this behavior with seeming disregard to the complaints of residents and business? Certainly the policy of prohibiting smoking at the hospital is a good thing, but not at the cost of trashing the neighborhood.
And the answer, from Erin Balzotti, the hospital’s media relations coordinator:
Monitoring and enforcing the New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s tobacco-free policy is a priority at NHRMC. Hospital Special Police patrol the campus and they also patrol the nearby Glen Meade Road residential area. On the rare occasion that smokers or trash are seen in the area, they are asked to respect the residents and leave the area. If needed, NHRMC ground crews also maintain and clean these areas.
People with specific complaints can call the Hospital Police at 343-2444.
Date posted: March 30, 2012
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