News and Information

May 16, 2012

Governor Proclaims May 19 Franciscan Freedom From Tobacco Day

Patrick Hogan III, DO
Patrick Hogan III, DO

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has proclaimed Saturday, May 19, as Franciscan Health System Freedom from Tobacco Day in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the organization's smoking-cessation support group that has helped several thousand individuals kick the tobacco habit.

This is the second major commemoration of the group and its founder, Tacoma Neurologist Patrick Hogan III, DO, in as many years.

Dr. Hogan established the Freedom from Tobacco support group at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma in May 1992 as a community resource to help adults and teens stop smoking and using tobacco products. He continues to serve as the volunteer medical advisor for the program, which is free and open to everyone.

In addition to meeting weekly at St. Joseph, group sessions are held every week at Franciscan's St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood; St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way; and at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. An estimated 49,000 people have attended the group's meetings over the past two decades.

Thanks to Dr. Hogan and the Freedom from Tobacco program, adults and teenagers alike can connect with a steadfast network that helps them overcome cravings for tobacco. Group meetings are often led by program "graduates" who feel so grateful for having broken free of nicotine addiction that they volunteer to mentor others.

Resources available through the program have also been used to teach physicians, nurses and other health care providers how to assist their patients who are trying to quit tobacco. Also, student nurses periodically attend meetings to learn the specifics of tobacco-use cessation that they can share with patients in the future.

In the past 10 years, the Freedom from Tobacco support group's model and mission have been replicated at more than 35 locations in Pierce and King counties.

Gov. Gregoire signed the proclamation May 10 officially declaring May 19, 2012 as Franciscan Health System Freedom from Tobacco Day in Washington. The proclamation commends the success that Dr. Hogan and his support group have had in helping "thousands of people quit and stay tobacco-free for life."

In 2011, Dr. Hogan and the Freedom from Tobacco program received the HealthCare Champion Community Impact Award sponsored by the Pierce County Business Examiner and Pierce County Medical Society.

Although he did not know in May 1992 how successful his new support group would become, he understood the value of prevention programs. "I have known since I was a child that becoming a physician was my calling in life," Dr. Hogan said in Business Examiner article about the Community Impact Award. "It has been the greatest avenue to change people's lives by treating their disorders, and especially helping prevent disease through measures such as tobacco-cessation, exercise, and good nutrition. The success of the Freedom from Tobacco support group has been tremendously gratifying."

Dr. Hogan, who is a member of the Franciscan Health System medical staff, is with South Puget Sound Neurology in Tacoma.

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