FCS Recognized as Tobacco Treatment Champion

Audrey Aliberto, LMFT (left) and Shannon Drake, NPP are part of the Tobacco Treatment Champion team at FCS.
Audrey Aliberto, LMFT (left) and Shannon Drake, NPP are part of the Tobacco Treatment Champion team at FCS.

The Central New York (CNY) Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center (SJHHC) recognized local Medical and Mental Healthcare organizations who championed comprehensive tobacco treatment policies throughout the region.
“These tobacco treatment champions were honored for their leadership, vision and dedication in ensuring that their patients and clients are not only asked about tobacco use but are continuously provided with support and resources for when they are ready to quit,” said Christopher Owens, Director of the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at SJHHC.

Family Counseling Services was among 13 organizations that were recognized for implementing a gold-standard, comprehensive tobacco health system policy to their standard of care protocols to guarantee that tobacco users are provided with continuous assistance with quitting.  Other local organizations that were recognized included: Cayuga Medical Center, Cayuga Center for Healthy Living, Cortland Regional Medical Center and the Ithaca Health Alliance.

These comprehensive tobacco health system policies are a critical piece of reducing tobacco use in the State, as well as locally in Central New York. Studies show that 70 percent of tobacco users want to quit and every year about half of those individuals try to quit. Unfortunately only 7 percent of smokers achieve long-term abstinence alone. With the support of a provider to assist their patients to quit, patient success in quitting increases significantly.

“Policy makers and health advocates strive daily against the harmful effects of tobacco but the real life champions are the staff members in the Medical and Mental Healthcare Centers who are dedicated to reducing and eliminating the devastating toll of tobacco use for all of us,” said Patricia Briest, Senior Tobacco Specialist of the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at SJHHC.

For more information about the CNY Regional Center for Tobacco Health Systems at SJHHC, visit www.tobaccofreeny.org.

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