UW-CTRI to Partner with First Breath Families Program on New Community Impact Grant

The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation (WWHF) has received a $1 million grant from the Wisconsin Partnership Program to significantly expand efforts to bring quit-smoking services to high-risk individuals, families and communities across Wisconsin. UW-CTRI is collaborating with WWHF on this project, to be provided during five years to First Breath Families. The group will also seek systems changes that will provide sustainable funding for these services.

Tobacco use during pregnancy remains one of Wisconsin’s leading preventable causes of poor birth outcomes and, in some communities, up to one-in-three women smoke during pregnancy. The First Breath Families team will collaborate with local agencies that serve pregnant and postpartum women and their families, provide statewide access to local WWHF Quit Coaches, and develop participant-informed services. By reaching, serving and engaging with high-risk populations, the project aims to reduce health inequities and improve health for women, infants, children and families in Wisconsin.

This project was one of four awards recently funded by the Wisconsin Partnership Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health through its Community Impact Grants program. The projects were selected for their potential to create conditions, as well as systems and policy solutions, that lead to equitable and sustainable improvements in health.

“We are honored to be selected as one of the four grant recipients through the Community Impact Grant program” said Lisette Khalil, Operations Director, WWHF. “Our team is so passionate about this work, and has years of experience helping pregnant and postpartum women quit smoking. By including other family members who also smoke, we have a significant impact on their success, and increase the number of children who grow up in smoke-free homes. Thanks to the funding from the Wisconsin Partnership Program, our evidence based smoking cessation program will be able to expand and help more families throughout Wisconsin.”

“We’re looking forward to supporting WWHF in this important endeavor,” said Dr. Bruce Christiansen, a researcher at UW-CTRI. “Its value, in terms of ensuring mothers and babies are healthy, cannot be overstated.”