Two Gold Star Standards of Excellence awards were recently bestowed by the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence’s Breath Easy Initiative.

The University of Maine at Presque Isle and Linda Mastro, the Director of the Health Center at UMPI and Northern Maine Community College, were both awarded a Gold Star at an awards ceremony this summer to recognize Maine organizations for implementing policies, procedures, and treatment.

UMPI was among 18 organizations recognized for achievements in advancing campus smoke and tobacco-free policies, as well as prompting tobacco-free lifestyles for their communities. UMPI was among a short list of eight universities across the state to meet all 10 Gold Star Standards.

Linda Mastro was honored with an Individual Gold Star Award for going “above and beyond” to champion and support the smoke and tobacco-free campus policy at both NMCC and UMPI. She was nominated by Dawn Roberts and Jo-Ellen Kelley of the Aroostook County Action Program.

UMPI announced six years ago a major effort to provide a healthy and productive work and learning environment for students, employees and visitors by moving to a Tobacco-Free Campus in June of 2013.

The Breathe Easy initiative at the MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence is  funded by Maine Prevention Services, an initiative through the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention working across the state to impact tobacco, substance use, and obesity. For more information, visit www.BreatheEasyMaine.org/GSSE.