Sparrow enacts nicotine-free hiring policy

Health System a leader in community health and wellness efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: April, 22, 2011

LANSING, Mich. - Sparrow will enact a nicotine-free hiring policy effective May 1, 2011, prohibiting anyone from being hired at Sparrow and its affiliates if they test positive for tobacco or nicotine products in any form.

The policy reflects the leadership role Sparrow has taken in health and wellness issues in the community and in promoting good health habits for its Associates.

It is among numerous efforts Sparrow has undertaken to promote the health and wellness of Associates and to help mid-Michigan residents lead healthier lives. (See accompanying fact sheet).

Sparrow is among the first hospitals in Michigan to enact such a policy. Other leading health care organizations nationally with similar policies include the Cleveland Clinic and Akron Children's Hospital (a Magnet hospital) in Ohio.

"Sparrow is implementing this new policy in order to further our goal of being a role model for health improvement in Michigan. We believe it is vital to promote a safe, clean, healthy and healing environment for our Patients and Associates," said Dennis A. Swan, Sparrow President and Chief Executive Officer.

Under the policy, job applicants will be screened for nicotine as part of their pre-employment screening process. Applicants who screen positive will not be hired but will be able to reapply for a position 90 days after their initial screening date, if they are nicotine free.

The policy will affect all Sparrow affiliates, including Sparrow Hospital, Sparrow Clinton Hospital, Sparrow Ionia Hospital, Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Sparrow Medical Supply, Sparrow Medical Group practices, the Michigan Athletic Club, Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan. It also includes physicians and medical residents.

The policy does not apply to current Sparrow Associates, but they are strongly encouraged to use the smoking cessation options afforded them under Sparrow's health and wellness benefits.