Wenatchee hospital disperses smokers around neighborhood

WENATCHEE — Ever since Central Washington Hospital banned smoking on its Wenatchee campus in February, smokers have made their way to a sidewalk to light up.

Residents of the Fuller Street neighborhood now say they have to put up with cigarette butts and the sight of people in scrubs, visitors and even patients smoking near their homes, The Wenatchee World reported Tuesday.

“Now all the cigarette butts blow over here to our house and we have to pick them up,” said Dean Dillard.

“You see all these professionals with their scrubs on and it’s just not a good vision,” said his wife, Joyce. “Do they wash their hands and brush their teeth before they go back to work? I wonder.”

The hospital put out a sand-filled bucket for butts and it’s an eyesore, said Susie Huntley, another Fuller Street resident.

“It’s patients, visitors and employees,” she said. “They sit right across from our house and smoke. I’ve got a couple of small kids and they see this and smell it and they want to know why.”

The Dillards, Huntley and neighbor Angel Delaney suggested the hospital designate a smoking area on campus.

“It could be a smoke shack where they can go and not disturb the neighbors and the public,” Huntley said.

Tracey Kasnic, chief nursing officer for Confluence Health, which includes the hospital, said setting up a designated area would send a “mixed message. It says we’re smoke-free except in this area; that we think smoking is bad except if you can’t help yourself.”

Kasnic hopes to hire a consultant to help figure out how to “make this a win-win for the hospital and the neighborhood. We don’t want to burden our neighbors but we’re really committed to being a smoke-free campus.”

The neighbors say the hospital’s policy is wafting too strongly in their direction.

“My kids are looking out at people who are supposed to be professionals, standing there in their scrubs smoking,” Delaney said. “There have also been patients hooked up to tubing and in hospital gowns, smoking, and I think that’s ridiculous.”

More in Local News

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Add deputies and bump taxes a bit, executive proposes

Dave Somers’ Snohomish County budget proposal also would address traffic problems in neighborhoods.

County councilman proposes banning safe injection sites

Nate Nehring says county officials also should find “credible, long-term solutions to addiction.”

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

They chose the longshot candidate to fill a vacant seat

Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick will serve as representative for the 39th legislative district.

How Carleton Farms prepares for Halloween — in the summer

The Lake Stevens farm opens Sept. 30 for your pumpkin pickin’, scare lovin’, zombie-fightin’ pleasure

Expanded Community Transit service set to start

CT is adding a total of 68 new bus trips in an expansion of service approved by district directors.

Most Read