URMC receives grant to help health centers reach patients who smoke

June 23, 2014

 The University of Rochester Medical Center has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $1.49 million to work with health care systems to improve delivery of care for tobacco dependence. This grant builds on two previous five-year  tobacco control grants and will allow service to a broader geographic area. The grant was awarded by the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control.

The Health Systems Change for a Smoke Free NY — Finger Lakes Region (currently the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center) will work with targeted health care providers to help smokers in Monroe, Seneca, Ontario, Wayne, Livingston, Yates, Schuyler, Steuben and Chemung counties quit. The effort will focus on organizations such as community and federally qualified health centers, which work with lower-income patients. Smoking rates are higher among lower-income adults and those with lower educational attainment.

Through the grant, Health Systems Change for a Smoke Free NY — Finger Lakes Region will provide support and coordination of resources to help health centers identify and intervene with every tobacco user who seeks care. Strategies will include screening, counseling, medication and referrals to services such as the New York State Smokers’ Quitline and Quitsite.

“Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in New York, so we are pleased to continue this extremely important work,” said Scott McIntosh, Ph.D., director of the program and Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. “Working with organizations to increase their success with smoking cessation system-wide will help ensure that every tobacco user who seeks medical care is offered tobacco dependence treatment too.”

One of the primary goals of this grant is to increase the percentage of health care provider organizations that have formally adopted and implemented systems and policies to assist adult smokers in quitting. The ultimate goal is to reduce the prevalence of adult smoking, especially among those with low income, low educational attainment, and serious mental illness. Grants were awarded to eight regional organizations covering 10 regions and one statewide Center of Excellence. Funding begins July 1, 2014, and ends March 31, 2019.

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Lydia Fernandez
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