Sierra Vista Herald

January 18, 2016

BISBEE – Copper Queen Community Hospital has started offering patients, employees and local diners antibiotic free meat and dairy in the cafeteria. This change is part of CQCH’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.

The Antimicrobial Stewardship Program promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobials including antibiotics, improves patient outcomes, reduces microbial resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.

The new practice will start with all natural beef, pork, chicken and turkey. These are the “never/never” products, which means never antibiotics and never hormones, if antibiotics are used, the products are taken out of this category. CQCH will also be serving all natural antibiotic free deli meat, breakfast meat, organic milk and organic eggs.

“This change will cost the hospital more than $25,000 a year,” said Jim Dickson, CEO. “There is a direct link between the meat industry’s use of antibiotics and the increase in antibiotic-resistant microbes in humans. Copper Queen Community Hospital is proud to implement these changes that will positively impact our patients, employees and local diners’ health.”

According to a 2013 report entitled Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States that was issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two million Americans get antibiotic-resistant infections each year and at least 23,000 people die.

It also cited studies estimating that antibiotic resistance adds $20 billion to U.S. healthcare spending each year. The report also stated that “scientists around the world have provided strong evidence that antibiotic use in food-producing animals can harm public health.”

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