Adirondack Health Institute has been awarded a five-year grant by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control to support the reduction and prevention of tobacco use in Warren, Washington, and Saratoga counties. Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities (ATFC) will engage and educate community leaders and members, leverage resources, and mobilize organizations to advance local tobacco control efforts.
“Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the nation and costs New York State taxpayers more than $8 billion annually in health care costs,” explained Nancy Gildersleeve, Executive Director, DSRIP Operations and Fulton County Population Health Network, Adirondack Health Institute. “We are excited to land this grant and will work tirelessly with collaborators to reverse these trends in our region.”
According to Gildersleeve, the aim of the ATFC project is to foster environments supportive of policies that reinforce tobacco-free norms. “We will utilize community-based strategies, including community education, mobilization, government policymaker education and advocacy with organizational decision makers to create local environments that demand policy change,” said Gildersleeve.
“Community engagement will play a significant role in our efforts,” continued Gildersleeve. “Our Community Engagement Specialist will be collaborating with local partners from a wide array of sectors to address such matters as eliminating tobacco use in outdoor areas such as parks, playgrounds, and beaches, and passing local regulations that will require landlords and building owners to fully disclose their smoking policies in an effort to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.”
The initiative will also include administration of Reality Check, a program that engages youth in action-oriented activities to mitigate, reduce, and eliminate the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing practices. Participating youth, aged 13-18, will also learn leadership skills to participate in policy-related tobacco control work. “The tobacco industry spends more than half a million dollars every day in the state to place promotions in stores where kids can see them,” stated Gildersleeve. “We look forward to working with area youth to stem this tide.”
The anticipated contract period for the program is July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2024.
Adirondack Health Institute (AHI) is an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization licensed under the New York State Public Health Law as an Article 28 Central Services Facility. Since 1987, Adirondack Health Institute has supported hospitals, physician practices, behavioral health providers, community-based organizations and others in the region in sharing our vision and mission of transforming health care and improving population health. A joint venture of Adirondack Health, Glens Falls Hospital, Hudson Headwaters Health Network, St. Lawrence Health System, and the University of Vermont Health Network – Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, Adirondack Health Institute’s mission is to create transformative initiatives to improve access to health care services allowing the residents of the Adirondack region to realize their full potential and live a healthy life. For more information, please visit www.ahihealth.org