Pa. hospital system to test new hires for nicotine

DANVILLE, Pa. - December 29, 2011

Danville-based Geisinger Health Systems says it will begin testing for use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, snuff, nicotine patches and gum as part of routine drug screening.

At least two other hospital systems in the state - Susquehanna Health Systems in Williamsport and St. Luke's in the Lehigh Valle - have already implemented similar policies.

Amy Brayford, Geisinger's head of human resources, says the goal is to improve the health of employees and provide a healthier environment for patients. Officials say the policy will apply only to incoming employees, not current personnel.

Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents in central and northeastern Pennsylvania and has nearly 15,000 employees.

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