The goal of the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York project is to promote within health systems the routine assessment and evidence-based treatment of tobacco use at every clinical encounter. The COE for HSI is funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control's larger Health Systems Improvement for a Tobacco-Free New York project, which also funds 10 Regional Contractors. In service to this aim, the COE for HSI serves as a resource to the 10 Regional Contractors in their efforts to implement changes within healthcare systems, with an emphasize on those systems serving populations for which smoking rates have not declined in recent years, specifically individuals with low incomes, less than a high school education, and/or serious mental illness. The COE for HSI also works on the Statewide-level to promote a policy environment that supports the increased availability and coverage of evidence-based treatments.
The COE for HSI builds on CAI's almost-15 years' experience in developing trainings, capacity-building assistance, and specialized resources for tobacco control and smoking cessation programs, and the organization's growing niche in the emerging field of health systems strengthening and improvement.