Continuing Education Scholarships Available for HIV Care Team Members

Funding to Attend National HIV Conferences to Gain Knowledge and Share Promising Practices with Peers

(New York, NY) – As part of an effort to decrease the estimated 50,000 new HIV infections that occur each year in the U.S.1, CAI’s CBA Center will be awarding four scholarships nationwide to health care team members on the front-lines of High-Impact HIV Prevention (HIP). The scholarships will provide dedicated providers the opportunity to attend national HIV conferences, serving as CBA Center Conference Ambassadors to learn about new evidence-based strategies for HIV treatment and prevention, and share best practices around client-centered care and linkage and retention in care.

“Peer to peer programs like this one promote information sharing among HIV providers across the country with the goal of decreasing new infection rates in the U.S. by 25%,” said Dr. Tony Jimenez, Director of the CAI CBA Center. “The aim of the Conference Ambassador Scholarship Program is to promote the sharing of first-hand knowledge, tactics and best practices in the field of HIV care."

The Scholarship Program is open to all members of the HIV care team, including medical directors, clinicians, nurses, case managers and front desk staff. Selected scholarship recipients will also participate in a CBA Center webinar and share their own experiences related to viral load suppression and be featured in the fall edition of the quarterly CBA Center News Bulletin.

“Every member of the HIV care team has an important role and this scholarship opportunity highlights the significant role each team member plays in patient retention and satisfaction in care,” said Dr. Jimenez.

This scholarship is funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Capacity Building Assistance project. Each scholarship will provide an HIV provider with an opportunity to network with national HIV treatment and prevention leaders, serve as a peer to peer advisor, and gain knowledge to help stay up to date on HIV treatment and prevention.

For more information about the CBA project initiative, scholarship eligibility or to complete an application, visit CAI's CBA Center website at www.HIVCBAcenter.org. The application deadline is June 1, 2015.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 36 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the CBA Center: CAI has been selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as a Capacity Building Assistance provider to healthcare organizations nationwide. The CBA Center concentrates on strengthening the capacity of the HIV prevention workforce to implement High-Impact HIV Prevention interventions -- scalable, scientifically proven approaches tailored to specific populations -- with a new focus on treatment as a critical component of prevention. Through partnerships with expert healthcare faculty and a national consortium of organizations that have pioneered effective implementation of High Impact Prevention, CAI delivers tailored, evidence-based capacity building services to healthcare organizations and staff in clinical settings across the US. For more information, visit www.HIVCBAcenter.org.


 

[1] http://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/docs/2012/HIV-Infections-2007-2010.pdf

Access to Evidence-Based Treatment Is the Key to Reducing Tobacco Use Among Low-Income Adults

Less than half of all ACA health plans offer all seven FDA-approved tobacco dependence treatment medications at no cost1

(New York, NY) – Tobacco use continues to be the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death, killing more than 28,000 New Yorkers every year.2 Tobacco users not only have increased risk for multiple cancers; they also are more likely to suffer from heart disease, stroke, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and diabetes.3 Of the nearly 42 million current U.S. tobacco users, 42.7 percent report having made at least one quit attempt in the last year.4 As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all health plans purchased through marketplaces are required to cover screening for tobacco use and tobacco cessation medications without prior authorization or associated cost-sharing. Based on guidance issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), this benefit includes coverage for all seven Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved tobacco dependence treatment medications.

A new report from the American Lung Association shows that health plans are falling short in this effort, with only 17 percent of all health insurance plans offering all seven FDA-approved tobacco dependence medications on their formularies.1 In New York State, only 11 percent, or two, plans covered all seven FDA-approved tobacco dependence treatment medications.

The Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York is building the capacity of ten Regional Contractors to work with federally qualified health centers (FQHC), mental health treatment facilities, and other health care organizations across New York State to implement health systems improvements that will ensure that every patient is screened for tobacco use, and that every tobacco user is offered and receives timely tobacco dependence treatment, if desired. The settings targeted by Regional Contractors serve populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not declined in recent years, specifically individuals with low-incomes, less than a high school diploma, and/or serious mental illness.

"Critical to a health system being able to successfully support a patient's quit attempt is the ability of the health care providers within it to tailor treatment plans to the needs of each individual patient," said Elizabeth Jones, Director, COE for HSI. "The evidence tells us that this entails being able to provide treatment that will maximize the likelihood that a quit attempt is successful."

Recent research shows that providing tobacco dependence treatment to those enrolled in the marketplace plans is especially important because tobacco use rates are higher among this population, which is made up of low-income populations and those previously uninsured.3

The full report from the American Lung Association is available at State Health Insurance Marketplace Plans: New Opportunities to Help Smokers Quit.

For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 36 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free NY. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 contractors throughout New York State working regionally with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low income, less than a high school diploma and/or poor mental health. Focused on providing capacity building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, click here to visit the project website.


 

[1] American Lung Association. State Health Insurance Marketplace Plans: New Opportunities to Help Smokers Quit, 2015. Retrieved from http://www.lung.org/assets/documents/publications/other-reports/state-health-insurance-opportunities.pdf
[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs—2014. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm?s_cid=cs_3281
[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: Government Printing Office, 2010.
[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Fast Facts. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fast_facts/ 

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Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement Heads To Albany to Underscore Vulnerable New Yorkers’ Need for Tobacco Control

Adults with Mental Illness Smoke a Third of All Cigarettes [i]

New York, NY – Tobacco control programs are urgently needed to help New Yorkers with serious mental illness. That is the message representatives from The Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York will take to the New York State Capitol tomorrow as they educate state lawmakers about established comprehensive tobacco control programs, many funded by the State, that currently are in place to reduce the burden caused by tobacco and ultimately save lives and state tax dollars.

New York State legislators are invited to visit Meeting Room 1 of the Empire State Plaza Concourse from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., where representatives of Advancing Tobacco-Free Communities (Community Engagement and Reality Check) and Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York will be joined by volunteer youth leaders to answer questions and offer resources about effective tobacco prevention programs being delivered across the state.

The COE for HSI, a program of CAI funded through the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, will participate in the day's activities by meeting with local elected leaders to explain the importance of supporting large-scale health system improvements in settings serving New Yorkers suffering from mental illness, specifically standardized screening for tobacco use and provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment to all interested patients.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • 31 percent of all cigarettes are smoked by adults with mental illness
  • 40 percent of men and 34 percent of women with mental illness smoke
  • 48 percent of people with mental illness who live below the poverty level smoke.[i]

"Adults with mental illness are less likely to quit, and are more likely to suffer from tobacco-related diseases or die early from tobacco use. In fact, individuals with serious mental illness and substance abuse die a startling twenty-five years earlier than those without mental illness," said Elizabeth Jones, Director of the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement. "The NYS Tobacco Control Program has made significant progress in supporting this vulnerable group, but there is still so much work to do to help those dealing with mental illness access tobacco dependence treatment and resources to help them quit."

Research indicates that, despite common misperceptions, smokers with mental illness are no less motivated or capable of quitting smoking than the general population.[ii] In New York State, more than 28,200 lives are lost due to tobacco use annually.[iii]

The New York State Tobacco Control Program uses a policy-driven, population-based approach designed to prevent youth from smoking and motivate adult smokers to quit. The efforts are leading the way toward a tobacco-free society.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 35 years, CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 23 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health System Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free NY. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 contractors throughout New York State working regionally with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low income, less than a high school diploma, and/or poor mental health. Focused on providing capacity building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification of and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work.

 


 

[i] Smoking among Adults With Mental Illness, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/features/vitalsigns/smokingandmentalillness/

[ii] Weir K. Smoking and mental illness. American Psychological Association, 2013; 44(6):36.

[iii] Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, 2014, Section C: Recommended Funding Levels, by State New York, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm?s_cid=cs_3281

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Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement Working to Earn New York a Higher Grade for Tobacco Cessation

New York State Receives "D" in new ALA Report

(New York, NY) -- The American Lung Association's (ALA) State of Tobacco Control 2015 gave New York mixed grades for current tobacco control efforts. While the report awarded the state an "A" for state smoking restrictions, and a "B" for tobacco taxes, the ALA graded the state an "F" for tobacco prevention spending and a "D" for access to cessation services. The mixed review illustrates the state's success with policies on clean air and taxes but highlights a need to advance prevention and cessation programs. Citing limitations around access to cessation services, the report recommends improving statewide tobacco control funding to ensure all New Yorkers who need these resources can access them.

Launched in July, the Center of Excellence for Health System Improvement (COE for HSI) is already working to improve New Yorkers' access to cessation resources and ultimately reducing the smoking rate in the state. A project of CAI, the COE for HSI works closely with 10 regional contractors to provide health systems, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and other health care organizations serving low-income New Yorkers, with resources and support to make operational changes that ensure tobacco dependence treatment is integrated into every patient visit. Facilities that treat New Yorkers with serious mental illness are also a high priority for the project since this population has higher rates of tobacco use, and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.

"The ALA report emphasizes the important barriers to access to tobacco dependence treatment that the COE for HSI seeks to address," said Elizabeth Jones, Director of the COE for HSI. "Supporting systematic changes to these health care systems will ensure that all New Yorkers are offered and have access to the resources they need to quit smoking."

To see the ALA report, click here. For more information on the COE for HSI, click here to visit the project website.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 36 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free NY. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 contractors throughout New York State working regionally with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low income, less than a high school diploma and/or poor mental health. Focused on providing capacity building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, click here to visit the project website.

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New Report Confirms Tobacco Epidemic Won't End Without Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs and Policy Change

Physicians, Health Care Systems Play Critical Role in Ensuring All New Yorkers Have Access to Tobacco Dependence Treatment

(New York, NY) -- More than 82 percent of adults in the U.S. have contact with a health care professional every year, resulting in one billion physician office visits and opportunities to deliver tobacco dependence treatment.2 Physicians can greatly improve the likelihood a patient will quit smoking. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that a doctor's advice and assistance more than double the odds that a tobacco user will quit successfully.

Launched six months ago by CAI, the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement for a Tobacco-Free New York is setting an aggressive course of action for work with regional contractors across New York State to support health systems changes that will ensure every tobacco user is offered and receives timely tobacco dependence treatment. The project prioritizes health systems and organizations that serve populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years.

"If we can reduce tobacco use in a systematic way as part of regular physician visits, New York State will see outcomes like better management of conditions, specifically diabetes and hypertension, and, ultimately, decreased prevalence of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illness," said Elizabeth Jones, Director of the Center of Excellence. "Tobacco is often at the root of chronic illness and serious medical conditions. Every encounter a patient is not screened for tobacco use and assisted in accessing treatment, if desired, represents a missed opportunity."

In a December report released by the CDC, researchers verified the importance of comprehensive tobacco control programs and systems that promote tobacco use cessation. The study, which found that 8.7 percent of annual U.S. health care spending in 2010 could be linked to tobacco use, also confirmed that the majority of these health care costs are paid for by public programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. Highlighting the enormous and growing health care costs related to the tobacco epidemic, the report also confirmed that coordinated interventions and policy change are critical to end the tobacco epidemic nationwide.3

According to an American Cancer Society estimate, 30 percent of cancers could be avoided if people stopped using tobacco.4 Claiming the lives of 28,000 New Yorkers every year,5 tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in New York State, afflicting nearly 600,000 residents with serious disease directly attributable to their smoking.6

Projects like the Center of Excellence are designed to create systematic changes that impact entire populations. Over the next five years, the Center of Excellence will provide resources and support so that health systems, including Federally Qualified Health Centers and other health care organizations serving low-income New Yorkers, will make changes to their operations and integrate tobacco dependence treatment into every patient visit. Facilities that treat New Yorkers with serious mental illness are also a high priority for the project since individuals with serious mental conditions have higher rates of tobacco dependence and lower quit rates than the general population.

"As more New Yorkers gain access to health care services through the Affordable Care Act and the redesigning of the Medicaid program, we hope health care systems will embrace the opportunity to be part of the solution to end the tobacco epidemic and create a healthier New York," said Jones.

According to the CDC, the health care costs attributable to tobacco are as much as $170 billion per year.

For more information about the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement for a Tobacco-Free New York, click here to visit the website.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 35 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in over 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering over 1,500 training programs annually, CAI's passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website: www.caiglobal.org.

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free NY. The Center promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. HSI aims to support 10 contractors throughout New York State working regionally with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which smoking prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low income, less than a high school diploma and/or poor mental health. Focused on providing capacity building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, click here to visit the project website.


 1. Annual Healthcare Spending Attributable to Cigarette Smoking, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published online on December 9, 2014, http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2814%2900616-3/abstract
2. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2010, Summary Tables, Table 1, 9, 13, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/namcs_summary/2010_namcs_web_tables.pdf
3. Annual Healthcare Spending Attributable to Cigarette Smoking, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published online on December 9, 2014, http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2814%2900616-3/abstract
4. 2012-2017 New York State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, NYS DOH, http://www.nyscancerconsortium.org/cancer/cancer_index.aspx
5. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs, 2014, Section C: Recommended Funding Levels, by State New York,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/index.htm?s_cid=cs_3281
6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General., 2010, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/2010/index.htm

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