Smoking allowed at Hollister hospital, but trustee pushes for ban

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Smoking remains allowed on the Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital campus, but one healthcare district trustee is working to change that.
While many hospitals ban smoking on their properties, Hazel Hawkins hospital in Hollister allows it in certain areas. San Benito Healthcare district Trustee Gordon Machado, however, said he is working to get a smoking ban implemented on the publicly owned hospital campus off Sunset Drive.
Machado in an interview with the Free Lance said he believes there is support on the elected healthcare district board for such a tobacco ban. He said he is communicating with the hospital’s human resources director about moving ahead on a proposal for one.
Machado said a former human resources official was a smoker and that it was a reason for putting off a campus ban. That employee no longer works at the hospital, and Machado said he has been in talks with the new H.R. official about moving forward on a policy.
Machado had also been in talks with former Public Health Officer Anju Goel about helping to lead the effort, but she resigned from her position in recent weeks.
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