Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI), a national non-profit organization, with decades of experience bringing diverse groups of stakeholders and community members together to set an agenda for and jointly pursue, policy, systems and people change to establish tobacco-free environments, proposes to serve as the Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Recovery (CoE-TFR) in response to funding opportunity SM-23-019 issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The CoE-TFR will develop and disseminate training, technical assistance (TTA), and educational resources to states, local governments, tribal communities, behavioral health organizations, primary care providers, clinicians, peers, families, and other stakeholders that promote reduction in tobacco use among individuals with mental health and/or substance use disorder, in recognition that prevalence of smoking among those with behavioral health conditions remain disproportionately high. CAI brings over 40 years of experience partnering with national and state administrators and leaders, providers, community members, and stakeholders to design and implement innovative strategies to promote optimal health and are responsive to the needs of communities served; this includes significant specialized expertise in providing TA that supports reduction in tobacco use coupled with deep experience addressing the needs of historically marginalized populations in behavioral healthcare settings. We will center the voices and amplify the role family and friends play in achieving positive health outcomes. CAI’s strategy will be anchored in building a set of cohesive beliefs among diverse stakeholders that treatment of tobacco use disorder (TUD) is recommended, safe, desired by people with behavioral health disorders, necessary to improve behavioral health outcomes, achievable, and saves lives. This shared set of beliefs will serve as the foundation upon which we will work with state and local policymakers; health systems; the behavioral health treatment team, including clinical and non-clinical members; and behavioral health consumers and their families and social networks, to collectively identify and implement strategies for making policy, systems and people change to establish and achieve our shared goals for reducing rates of tobacco use among individuals with mental health and/or SUD and tailored for disproportionately impacted behavioral health populations.
CAI’s strategy will increase the number of states, local governments, tribal communities, behavioral health administrators, primary care providers, clinicians, peers, families, and other stakeholders that receive TTA through the CoE-TFR. We will engage twelve states over five years by convening three Leadership Academy cohorts, each comprised of four states and lasting 18 months. Utilizing this approach we will foster cross-state peer learning to launch planning for and provide individualized technical assistance to each state to plan and convene state-specific Leadership Academies among state policy, health systems, clinic, care team, and consumers/ families to develop and implement results-oriented action plans and collaborations. Leadership Academy activities will be supported by the development of a national 5-year strategic plan, building upon the 2018 plan drafted by the current CoE-TFR, to reduce commercial tobacco use. Tailored TTA will be provided to states and their partners participating in Leadership Academies throughout the duration of the initiative. Webinar trainings will be facilitated for a national audience reaching over 1,500 individuals annually. Resources will be disseminated by establishing a CoE-TFR website that will garner over 10,000 website visits annually and 300 resource downloads. At least 85% of individuals participating in TTA will indicate improved knowledge and intention to apply knowledge in practice at 30-day follow up.