Press release by Franciscan Health:

Franciscan Alliance is the recipient of two Indiana Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation division grants totaling $440,000 aimed at continuing and expanding the healthcare ministry’s efforts.

The awards include $300,000 for the next phase of the community-building partnership in Lake County and $140,000 for the continuation and expansion of a health systems change partnership at Franciscan Health Lafayette East.

“Franciscan Health is proud to partner with ISDH for a subsequent grant cycle to continue work on tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives within the health system and in multiple communities we serve,” said Beth Segal, nursing manager for the Franciscan Healthy Living Center in Lafayette. “The teams involved with tobacco prevention and cessation work collaboratively to maximize the impact of the Franciscan Health ministry’s efforts and to leverage the funding received to sustain change toward health improvements.”

Franciscan Health is a longtime partner of the IDOH Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation division and has served as the lead agency for the Lake County Community Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition since 2015. Under Franciscan Health’s leadership, Coalition membership has more than quadrupled, two municipalities have implemented comprehensive smoke-free policies and most Lake County public school districts strengthened their tobacco-free policies.

The renewed grant funding for Lake County, which runs through 2025, will continue and expand the county-wide middle and high school partnerships with a focus on reducing e-cigarette use, youth empowerment efforts, point of sale efforts, Smoke-Free Communities outreach, Quit Now Indiana secondhand smoke multi-unit housing programs, coalition marketing and recruitment, trainings and Tobacco-Free Families programs.

The funding also allows for Franciscan Health to expand a program piloted in the last grant cycle at Franciscan Health Lafayette East to standardize and significantly improve how patients who are tobacco users are identified, counseled, referred to cessation resources and tracked through recovery.

The grant will also assist with smoking cessation for uninsured and underinsured pregnant mothers, low-dose CT lung cancer screenings, training and education for staff and rural healthcare partners and integrating the Indiana Tobacco Quit Line referral into the electronic medical records system.

“We look forward to partnering with local organizations to create a healthier Indiana,” Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Director Miranda Spitznagle, MPH, said. “Your partnership is critical to our vision of an Indiana where all are free from tobacco addiction and exposure to commercial tobacco products.”