Smoking Cessation Initiative “One Step at A Time”
As part of the Hope Health Clinic’s (HHC) “One Step at a Time” Program, smoking cessation is a key factor in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as COPD, CHF, diabetes and cancer. While smoking rates have declined nationwide, the rate of adult and youth smokers in Kentucky remains among the highest in the country (second only to West Virginia) and many barriers to cessation exist at the individual and environmental level. The overall goal of the HHC’s smoking cessation initiative is to increase the number of individuals successfully quitting smoking through effecting systems change. This systems change will occur at the environmental level through the development and implementation of a systematic method of identifying and referring adult smokers to local community resources while simultaneously increasing availability of local cessation services. This program will also support change at the individual level by pairing personal advocates with individuals participating in the smoking cessation classes. These advocates will provide additional one-on-one support to individuals enrolled in smoking cessation, increasing accountability, providing encouragement and identifying and mitigating individual challenges in order to foster successful cessation. Efforts will be coordinated across a four county region of Kentucky in partnership with local county health departments in provision of the Cooper/Clayton Smoking Cessation Program (CCSCP) at HHC and at other locations convenient to patients. HHC will partner with two local hospitals, health departments, physicians, dental providers, mental health providers and correction department officials in these counties to create an effective and consistent referral system which encourages enrollment of patients in the classes. A unique and key aspect of the program will be the assignment of advocates to each participant. Advocates will establish a relationship with the patients outside of the formal classes, offering encouragement and support extending past the duration of the course for six months, to ensure total cessation of smoking. Our goal is closely aligned with the stated mission of the SCLC to “increase smoking cessation rates, as well as the number and types of health professionals who help smokers quit” as outlined in the RFP. Our program will focus on increasing the number and accessibility of evidenced based smoking support interventions in a four county region, as well as impacting the healthcare system to more efficiently and successfully engage current smokers in those interventions. The “One Step at a Time” program targets current smokers in our region, with an additional emphasis on reaching special populations, including those with co-morbid mental health conditions as well as those engaged in the criminal justice system. Coordination of this initiative by HHC aligns with the clinic mission of preventing and/or mitigating the effects of chronic diseases prevalent in the four county areas it serves.
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