Pioneers Honored for Helping Behavioral Health Patients

The Wisconsin Nicotine Treatment Integration Project (WiNTiP) last month honored co-founder and managing consultant David “Mac” Macmaster for his leadership, passion and tireless efforts to help people with behavioral health issues to quit tobacco use and live longer, healthier lives.

UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore presented the award to Macmaster during an event at the Wisconsin Medical Society in Madison. Several people provided testimonials and congratulations to Macmaster, including WiNTiP co-founder Dr. Eric Heiligentstein, videographer Robert Ingraham and co-author of a policy paper Jim Wrich. Dr. Steve Schroeder, who heads the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center at the University of California-San Francisco, saluted Macmaster via video.

Macmaster also presented the inaugural “Mac Awards” to several health care systems and professionals for their innovative work to help behavioral health patients quit tobacco use. Recipients included:

1. Meta House, a residential addiction treatment program for women in Milwaukee. Accepting the award was Christine Ullstrup (right), VP of clinical services. Featured in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for their WiNTiP work, Meta House is the source of a remarkable outcome. Before integration, many of the children and infants of women in treatment were diagnosed with asthma. In the months following integration, there were no new cases of asthma!


2. L.E. Phillips – Libertas, an inpatient recovery program in Chippewa Falls. Accepting the award was Brenda Goettl, AODA clinical supervisor. Staff from Libertas were among the first to receive WiNTiP training and Brenda has been there from the start of WiNTiP’s work. Feedback from their clients has been very positive. One patient, who had experienced 5 previous inpatient admissions, attributes his current success to quitting smoking and drinking at the same time.

3. La Crosse Co. Family & Children Center. Accepting the award was Kathy Rohr, coordinator of community support programs (CSPs). Community Support Programs treat some of our most vulnerable residents—those with severe and disabling mental illness. Rohr and her organization continue their integration leadership, joining a proposal from NAMI Wisconsin to help other CSPs treat tobacco dependence.

4. ARC Community Services of Dane County. Accepting the award was Ruby Vanderzee, health educator. ARC is the integration leader in south central Wisconsin. ARC staff have persistently pursued a healthy, tobacco-free treatment environment.

5. Sheila Weix. Weix (above) integrated the treatment of tobacco dependence into a substance-abuse-treatment setting long before WiNTiP even existed. “She led the way for all of us and has been the ‘go to’ person for the WiNTiP team and all the Wisconsin programs following in her footsteps,” said UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Bruce Christiansen, WiNTiP coordinator.

WiNTiP is managed by UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Bruce Christiansen and the event was coordinated by UW-CTRI’s Sandy Keller. WiNTiP is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. For more, visit