KHF approves ‘Phase 2’ of tobacco treatment and recovery in behavioral health initiative

May 10, 2019

Media Contact Ashley Booker, 316-491-8414

WICHITA, Kan. – The Kansas Health Foundation’s Board of Directors recently approved $1.1 million for Phase 2 of the foundation’s Tobacco Treatment and Recovery in Behavioral Health initiative. The three-year initiative will build on current momentum within the behavioral health system to implement policies and organizational and systems changes designed to reduce tobacco use among individuals experiencing behavioral health and substance use issues.

Of the $1,122,000 approved for this initiative, more than $1 million will go to seven current KHF grantees:

  • Breakthrough Club (Wichita) – $140,000
  • CKF Addiction Treatment (Salina) – $50,000
  • DCCCA Inc. (Wichita, Lawrence, Pratt and Pittsburg) – $80,00
  • Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas (Wichita) – $100,000
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Kansas (statewide) – $250,000
  • Prairie View (Newton) – $150,000
  • University of Kansas School of Medicine (statewide) – $250,000

Wichita State University’s Community Engagement Institute will receive $102,000 for initiative support and evaluation.

“Individuals with behavioral health and substance abuse issues are more than twice as likely to use tobacco products than the general population,” said Steve Coen, KHF president and CEO. “By building on the current efforts to increase coverage and usage of tobacco-dependence treatment benefits, we hope to not only improve the lives of these individuals, but also the lives of other Kansans around them.”

Phase 2 grant funds will support grantees’ efforts to:

  1. Train additional providers as tobacco treatment specialists (professionals who have specialized skills, knowledge and training to provide evidence-based tobacco treatment);
  2. Encourage adoption of the Tobacco Treatment Guideline (a resource documenting evidence-based strategies to help organizations be tobacco-free and reduce tobacco use);
  3. Continue to strengthen the organizational infrastructure of behavioral health and safety net providers to assess and treat tobacco dependence;
  4. And, continue to advocate with insurers to expand available tobacco cessation benefits that are covered for patients ready to quit – including both counseling and medications, as well as encourage increased utilization of existing benefits.

The first $1.7 million phase of this initiative – which ran from 2016 to 2019 – focused on culture change and increased access to treatment more broadly.

Phase 2 focuses on advancing those same priorities using three specific strategies prioritized by behavioral health system stakeholders: 1) To increase the number and location of tobacco treatment specialists 2) To increase demand for quality improvement and evidence-based practices and 3) To engage youth in developing and implementing interventions. These strategies form the basis for the grantees’ efforts described above.

This combined $2.8 million total investment in tobacco treatment in behavioral health aligns with one of KHF’s key impact areas (healthy behaviors) and relates to continuing efforts to reduce tobacco use and health disparities.

“Quitting tobacco is critical to wellness,” said Nadine Long, KHF director of strategic learning and grants administration. “We need to continue increasing the number and location of trained tobacco treatment specialists, building demand for quality improvement and evidence-based practices, supporting providers in the system and engaging our youth to help effectively reduce smoking rates in the future. Doing so will contribute to improved health in Kansas.”


About the Kansas Health Foundation

The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. During the past 35 years, KHF has provided more than $600 million in grants to improve health in Kansas communities.

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