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The staff of Heartland OB/Gyn was recently recognized by the Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition for their work to stop smoking. At the award presentation were (from left): Office Manager Becky Turpin, Medical Technician Amanda Kimmel, Medical Receptionist Jacie Carie, Medical Receptionist Shelly Trotter, Nurse Practitioner Tera Knepp, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coordinator Sally Petty, Dr. Johnathan Frances, Medical Assistant Damaris Martinez, Sonographer Karen Duvall, Medical Assistant Kelli Merold, and Medical Receptionist Amber McPherson. Not pictured, Janis McKinley, Kim Blair and Dr. Michael Baker.

The Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition recognized the staff of Heartland OB/Gyn last week for its efforts over the past year to help women quit smoking. Heartland OB/Gyn referred more patients to the Indiana Tobacco Quitline last year than any other clinic in Daviess County.

“The doctors, nurses and staff at Heartland OB/Gyn go to the extra mile to help moms-to-be quit smoking,” Sally Petty, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program Coordinator said. “Their hard work improves the health of women, children and families in our community, and we thank them for taking the time to care about every aspect of their patients’ well being.”

In Daviess County, 15.9 percent of pregnant women smoke, resulting in 87 births affected by smoking and $150,387 in related healthcare costs every year. The rate of smoking during pregnancy is 30.4 percent in Knox County, 23.7 percent in Pike County and 21.4 percent in Martin County.

Pregnant smokers who are ready to quit should know it’s never too late to quit smoking during pregnancy. Many pregnant women are tempted to cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke instead of quitting, but quitting entirely is the best thing a pregnant woman can do for themselves and their baby. The benefits of quitting smoking can be seen immediately. After just one day of not smoking, the baby will get more oxygen. While women experience withdrawal symptoms, these are often signs the body is healing. They are normal, temporary and will lessen in a couple of weeks. Quitting will increase the mother’s energy levels and help make breathing easier.

The Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition, in partnership with Heartland OB/Gyn and the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, has set a goal to help more women quit smoking so that more babies are born healthy in Daviess and surrounding counties.

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline links tobacco users with highly-trained quit coaches for free, confidential and personalized cessation counseling, as well as text messaging support. Patients may complete the quitline program by phone or online. Pregnant women receive 10 coaching sessions and unlimited call-in privileges with a quit coach to help them quit smoking now and stay quit after their baby is born.

Heartland OB/Gyn is a member of the quitline’s Preferred Provider Network, which allows them to refer patients by fax to the quitline program, and follow up with patients on their progress. This combination of services from doctor and quitline is proven to be the most effective way for people to quit tobacco, and stay quit.

If one wants to quit using tobacco, talk to a doctor or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

— Special to TH

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