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Oklahoma Hospital Association and TSET collaboration results in 40,000 Helpline referrals

1-800-QUIT NOW offers FREE tobacco quit services to Oklahomans

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 19, 2019) — More than 40,000 patients have been referred to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline through an innovative public/private partnership that encourages medical providers to connect patients to resources that could help them break addiction to nicotine.

Last month, Hospitals Helping Patients Quit (HHPQ), an initiative of the Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) funded by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), reached the referral milestone as part of a comprehensive effort to leverage hospital systems as leaders in health care delivery with tobacco cessation.

“Tobacco use is still the leading cause of death in Oklahoma and this public-private partnership has changed hospital systems across Oklahoma by identifying tobacco users when they arrive for care,” said TSET Executive Director Julie Bisbee. “This critical step enables trained medical professionals to offer life-saving advice about quitting tobacco through the confidential and trusted bond of a doctor-patient relationship. Patients who say they are ready to quit can opt into services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline while at their visit. The direct connection to Helpline services removes barriers and makes it easy for patients to start their quit journey.”

HHPQ provides comprehensive support to hospitals and clinics to develop tobacco cessation interventions for patients, which includes creating a proactive referral process to the Helpline. Tobacco users who receive a clinical cessation consult from their health care provider, use a cessation medication and receive follow-up Helpline services are up to twice as likely to successfully quit than those who attempt to quit cold turkey.

“The Hospitals Helping Patients Quit program has helped thousands of Oklahomans quit tobacco and saved countless years of life and health care dollars,” said Patti Davis, OHA president. “We’re very proud of this achievement, made possible by TSET grant funding and our many hospital and clinic partners.

“We know that hospitals and other front-line health care providers play a vital role in encouraging and helping patients to quit tobacco. This program was a natural fit for OHA to promote to our members. Using evidence-based tobacco treatment programs, we know we have really made a difference and we will continue to push forward with this proven program.”

Currently, HHPQ has over 50 hospital and 250 clinic partners working on cessation in about 30 counties across the state, including INTEGRIS Health.

“INTEGRIS Health is honored to be a participant in addressing this significant health issue in Oklahoma,” said Chris Hammes, INTEGRIS Health executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We believe tackling our statewide tobacco addiction is essential to ensure we improve the health of our communities.

“As the first pilot health system to implement a system change to ensure all patients are assessed and asked about their desire to quit tobacco, we are proud to be making a difference. INTEGRIS Health will continue to do its part to help combat an addiction that claims far too many Oklahomans.”

The Chickasaw Nation is another partner in the program.

“The Chickasaw Nation Department of Health's partnership with the Hospitals Helping Patients Quit program has been a great success and has elevated our tobacco cessation efforts to the next level,” said Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Health Charles Grim. “We identified service gaps and developed innovative strategies to ensure no one who desired to quit tobacco was left behind.

“Since beginning our partnership we have decreased our overall tobacco use rates by six percentage points. We will continue to battle commercial tobacco addiction and improve the health of our citizens through partnerships like HHPQ program.”

A referral is not necessary to receive services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, and the upcoming Great American Smokeout on November 21 is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of quitting tobacco.

Quit Coaches are available 24/7 to create customized Quit Plans for registrants. Free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy as well as online and text support are available. Call 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit OKhelpline.com to explore all the free services and resources available to Oklahomans.

Those interested can also connect with the Helpline through social media by liking the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline on Facebook or following @OKhelpline on Twitter and Instagram.

HHPQ continues to push forward in its tobacco cessation support efforts to Oklahoma health systems by maintaining current partnerships and also actively seeking to bring new ones onboard. For more information about the HHPQ initiative, please contact Kelly Willingham at kwillingham@okoha.com or go to www.okoha.com/hhpq.                                                         

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline is a free service for Oklahomans who want to quit tobacco. Funding is primarily provided by the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), in partnership with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline has served nearly 400,000 Oklahomans since 2003 and has been ranked among the top quitlines for reaching tobacco users seeking treatment for the last ten years by the North American Quitline Consortium.

The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working with local coalitions and initiatives across the state, cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public’s health. TSET – Better Lives Through Better Health. To learn more go to: www.ok.gov/tset