(SACRAMENTO)

The UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR) has received a $7.5 million 5-year grant from the California Department of Public Health to help curb tobacco smoking in California. The grant will allow CHPR to lead a program that provides intensive training and technical assistance on smoking cessation to around 40 community clinics serving at-risk populations. 

Prof. Jeffrey Hoch, associate director at CHPR and co-leader on Healthy Living Clinic Initiative
Prof. Jeffrey Hoch, associate director at CHPR and co-leader on Healthy Living Clinic Initiative

This program is called the Healthy Living Clinic Initiative (HLCI). 

“We are so excited to launch HLCI and work with California’s Department of Public Health and the community clinics to reduce tobacco use in the state,” said Jeffrey Hoch, associate director at CHPR, professor and chief of the Division of Health Policy and Management at the Department of Public Health Sciences, and co-leader of the HLCI efforts. 

The Healthy Living Clinic Initiative for smoking cessation

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. 

The HLCI will enable community clinics to follow proven quality improvement methods to increase the effectiveness of tobacco cessation efforts in California. It will help them adopt tobacco-free clinic policies and optimize their clinical data systems. This will allow for better assessment of population health metrics, such as smoking prevalence among the clinic’s patients, referral rates, counseling utilization rates, and quit rates. 

Community outreach using novel approaches

The HLCI team will use novel approaches to tobacco control. They will employ a ‘whole health’ approach to support smoking patients, providing them with guidance on diet, physical activity, and stress management. They will work with patients to prevent or minimize weight gain, a phenomenon frequently associated with smoking cessation. 

In addition, the team will use online platforms to provide consultation and education for clinic staff and wellness content for patients. 

“Our center at UC Davis is especially well suited to run this important initiative,” Hoch said. 

The CHPR hopes that the HLCI will be a model of close partnership between academia and community-based primary care that can be replicated in many other clinics. 

Co-principal investigators on this grant are Desiree R Backman, chief of prevention policy and practice group (PPPG) at CHPR, and Neal D. Kohatsu, chief health strategist of PPPG.