A hospital is supposed to be the most healthy place there is.
That's why we commend Altoona Regional Health System for its decision not to hire tobacco users nor allow tobacco use anywhere on its properties, effective Jan. 1.
The hospital board approved the policy change as part of a "comprehensive approach to health and wellness" - given the damage inflicted by tobacco to users and through secondhand smoke even to non-users.
In its application process, Altoona Regional will rely on a one-time pre-employment screening for nicotine. Applicants who fail can apply again after 90 days.
Many other hospitals in Pennsylvania - 70 - and others throughout the nation have already adopted similar measures.
Being in the hospital is taxing enough, let alone to be subjected to medical personnel who come off a smoke break and reek like a cigarette.
Thumbs-up on this overdue measure.
Others worthy of thumbs-up, thumbs-down mention:
Thumbs-up to the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, which has sustained its Hall of Fame program for 23 years. The chamber ushered in five businesses into its Hall of Fame on Monday night along with presenting a number of other awards. The evening drew about 500 people to the Blair County Convention Center and was filled with hometown pride.
Thumbs-down to Ryan Held of Philipsburg who pleaded guilty to burning a cross in a white woman's yard because she had a black man living there. A federal grand jury, rightfully, indicted Heldon on two counts of interfering with housing for the August 2010 incident in Clearfield County.
Thumbs-up to PennDOT, which is raising awareness on road safety by creating a makeshift graveyard in front of its headquarters on Juniata Street in Hollidaysburg. There are 84 crosses on display representing PennDOT workers who died while on the job since 1970. District 9, which employs 900 people in Blair and five surrounding counties, saw 64 work-zone crashes last year.
Thumbs-up to CNN news anchor Susan Candiotti, who spoke to 300 Bishop Guilfoyle students at her alma mater during homecoming festivities last week. It's nice to see Candiotti, who has launched from here to national prestige, hasn't forgotten her hometown.
Thumbs-down to Mitt Romney campaign organizers who shut out the Mirror from interview access during Ann Romney's visit to the Blair County Convention Center on Monday. Several television requests were accommodated. The gaffe marred an otherwise positive event that attracted 200 people and raised $400,000, showing the obvious local support for the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.