PUBLISHED: 5:59 PM on Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Bartlett hospital receives tobacco cessation interventions grant
JUNEAU - Bartlett Regional Hospital has been awarded a tobacco cessation interventions grant from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Bartlett Regional Hospital has been awarded $83,333.00 for 2009. The grant period runs through 2011. Grant projects are expected to sustain activities in continuation years.

Lisa Maree Williams
  Bartlett Regional Hospital was awarded more than $83,000 by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services to reduce tobacco use of patients. The grant will continue through 2011.
The goal and purpose of the grant is to provide tobacco cessation interventions as set forth in Centers for Disease Control's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs-2007 and US Public Health Services Clinical Practice Guideline Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence.

Goal to develop and implement a comprehensive system- wide practice for addressing tobacco use within (BRH) the health care system.

Long term goal of this grant program is to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in health care center patient populations and to reduce the death, disability and economic burden related to tobacco use and/or exposure to tobacco smoke. This grant program focuses on the goal area "promote cessation for tobacco users".

CDC Best Practices stress that healthcare system changes are effective in addressing tobacco cessation for all who will be involved with the health care facility.

Receiving this grant comes at a very opportune time for BRH - We have just celebrated our one year anniversary as a tobacco free campus - implementing the goals of this grant is a logical next step - these services must be offered and available to our patients on a consistent basis to ensure and promote the goals of BRH in relation to tobacco use.

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death in Alaska (44% of all Alaskan deaths are tobacco related).

Tobacco use and/or exposure to second hand smoke cuts short the lives of over 600 Alaskans each year.

In 2004 tobacco use cost Alaskans 169 million dollars in direct medical expenditures and an additional 160 million in lost productivity due to tobacco related deaths (underestimate since lost productivity due to tobacco related illness is not included).

BRH is the biggest and main health care facility in Southeast Alaska. We ultimately serve or are available to serve all members of this region. By implementing a comprehensive system-wide tobacco cessation program we will be able to ultimately touch the lives and affect the health of all Southeast Alaskans.

To reduce death, disability and economic burden caused by tobacco use, evidenced based tobacco control programs are needed that respond to the four goal areas of State of Alaska Tobacco Prevention and Control (SOA-TPC) Program and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs-2007:

• Prevent the initiation of tobacco use among youth

• Promote cessation for tobacco users

• Eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke

• Identify and eliminate tobacco use disparities

Aspects of implementing this grant will include: services of an out of state consultant; education of all health care providers; establishing policies and protocols related to interventions and referrals; increased collaboration with the Alaska State Quitline; incorporating cessation interventions into the electronic charting system; and reviewing and updating reimbursement issues.

BRH has hired Lynda Koski, RN, BSN to help coordinate activities related to this grant. She is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS) and has worked in tobacco use dependence and treatment for over 7 years.