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TSET Board of Directors announces the resignation of executive director

OKLAHOMA CITY (November 27, 2018) - The TSET Board of Directors has received the resignation of TSET Executive Director John Woods and plans to have a special board meeting next week to discuss next steps for the agency’s leadership.

“We wish John the best in future endeavors and are grateful for his leadership, passion and commitment to improving the health of Oklahomans,” said TSET Board of Director Chairman Don Millican.

Woods joined TSET in November 2016, after being the president and chief executive officer at the Norman Chamber of Commerce. Woods has been offered and accepted a position outside of TSET. 

During Woods’ tenure, TSET’s funding was key in several projects to improve the health of Oklahomans and reduce the leading causes of death – cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In October, Tobacco Stops With Me, a program of TSET, and 40 other organizations launched a bold plan to cut adult smoking in half over the next decade – to include policies to protect workers from secondhand smoke, prevent smoking in cars with minors, and efforts to keep young people from starting to smoke.

This year the Stephenson Cancer Center, funded by TSET, achieved the prized National Cancer Institute designation – bringing world class care to Oklahomans close to home. Stephenson Cancer Center offers cutting-edge cancer treatment and research to Oklahomans through its main site in Oklahoma City and through satellite clinics in Tulsa, Bartlesville, Stillwater, McAlester, Altus, Lawton and Duncan.

TSET has continued its investment in helping to improve rural health with a grant to the Physician Manpower Training Commission by funding a loan repayment program from doctors who agree to practice in rural areas of the state. To date, 34 doctors are practicing in rural parts of the state, increasing access to preventative care and screenings. Physicians in this program have completed more than 258,000 patient visits in four years.

Over the past two years, TSET has also maintained or increased its investments in communities across the state. Through the TSET Healthy Incentive Grant program, more than $800,000 in grants have been awarded in the past year to cities and schools to adopted health promoting policies and strategies. These grants allow communities to update parks, provide schools with resources to purchase physical activity equipment and AED machines.

Community-based grants through the TSET Healthy Living Program are also working at the local level to offer businesses, schools, community organizations and city governments the assistance in creating a healthier environment.

 “It has been an honor to be a part of these milestones at TSET that will help improve health for Oklahomans for generations to come,” Woods said. “I’m reminded of the wisdom of voters in creating the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust to reduce the toll of tobacco on our state and continue to address our state’s most pressing health issues.”

Millican said he plans to recommend an interim director be named at a special meeting of the board on Dec. 3. The board is also expected to discuss the process of hiring a new director at their regularly scheduled board meeting in January.

For more information contact:
Julie Bisbee
julieb@tset.ok.gov
Direct: (405) 521-4992
Cell: (405) 301-3693

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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by 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.