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Implementation of Evidence-Based Care in New York State

New York, NY – The Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York is pleased to announce the release of its new toolkit Supporting Evidence-Based Tobacco Dependence Screening & Treatment. This important resource fills a previous gap, and can be used by healthcare organizations to train their staff on evidence-based best practices for tobacco dependence treatment on an ongoing basis. The goal of the toolkit is to build the capacity of entire care teams to screen and treat tobacco dependence in order to minimize missed opportunities to treat tobacco users who visit their providers for other needs. More than 70 percent of tobacco users visit a healthcare provider each year, and each of these visits is an opportunity for providers to treat a patient’s tobacco use.1

This new toolkit features training resources that have been developed for all levels of healthcare staff, including frontline staff, prescribing clinicians, counseling staff, and staff with responsibilities for quality improvement. The toolkit includes three training curricula, including lesson plans, slide decks, handouts, and a video. Quality improvement tools have been designed to assist healthcare organizations to institutionalize systems for assuring all patients, regardless of the reason for their visit, are screened for tobacco dependence and provided with evidence-based treatment, if desired.

“Every staff member in the healthcare organization has an important role to play in treating their patients for tobacco dependence,” said Marcy Hager, Director of the COE for HSI. “The COE for HSI toolkit will ensure that staff members are continuously trained on evidence-based best practices for tobacco dependence and that staff members know their roles and responsibility within the healthcare organization to provide continuous life-saving tobacco dependence screening and treatment.”
The COE for HSI is working across New York State with regional contractors to engage health care organizations that serve populations disproportionately impacted by tobacco use, including: New Yorkers with low incomes; individuals with less than a high school education; and those who report having serious mental illness. The toolkit has been released to ten regional contractors across the New York State who work with healthcare organizations that serve these priority populations, including federally qualified health centers, community health centers, and other safety net providers.

For more information about the work of the COE for HSI, visit

1 Fiore et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, 2008.

About CAI: CAI is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underserved populations worldwide. For 36 years CAI has provided customized capacity building services to health and human service organizations in more than 27 countries and in all 50 states. Offering more than 1,500 training programs annually, CAI’s passionate staff works to fulfill its mission: to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world. For more information about CAI, visit our website:

About the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement: With funding from the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tobacco Control, CAI serves as the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) for a Tobacco-Free New York. The COE for HSI promotes large-scale systems and policy changes to support the universal provision of evidence-based tobacco dependence treatment services. The COE for HSI aims to support 10 regional contractors throughout New York State working with health care systems and organizations that serve those populations for which tobacco use prevalence rates have not decreased in recent years - adults with low incomes, less than a high school diploma, and/or serious mental illness. Focused on providing capacity-building assistance services around topics like how to engage and obtain buy-in from leadership to implement the kinds of systems-level changes that will result in identification and intervention with every tobacco user who seeks care, the COE for HSI also will offer materials and resources to support contractors in their regional work. For more information, click here to visit the project website.


This website was developed with funding provided by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control to CAI. Its contents are solely the responsibility of CAI and do not necessarily represent the official views of the New York State Department of Health.