3 New Projects Will Help Behavioral Health Patients Quit Smoking

Bruce Christiansen Headshot
Dr. Bruce Christiansen

UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Bruce Christiansen recently received a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health to implement three projects to help behavioral healthcare facilities treat tobacco addiction.

“These projects represent the ongoing commitment of the State Division of Care and Treatment (DCTS) to address tobacco policy and treatment in the behavioral health treatment system,” Christiansen said. “UW-CTRI is privileged to continue our work on this important issue with our key partners, DCTS and the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.”

The three projects include:

1. Helping “Hubs” work with their “Spokes” to address tobacco use.


The Department of Health Services will be launching a pilot program this summer that promises to redesign the delivery of addiction services in Wisconsin. This new “Hub and Spoke” model will deliver comprehensive, patient-centric services that address all the physical and mental health needs of people in treatment for addictions through a central Hub that coordinates care across its many Spokes. Due to prior work by UW-CTRI and the state, each Hub is required by contract to treat tobacco dependence treatment through its Spokes. Wisconsin will have three Hubs. UW-CTRI has secured matching funding from the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) to provide each of two of the HUBs with a $30,000 award for adopting a tobacco-free policy and to implement the treatment of tobacco dependence. This project permits funding for the third Hub, and enables UW-CTRI to provide technical assistance and support to all three Hubs and their Spokes.

In this project, each Hub will provide mini-grants to its spokes as an incentive to address both tobacco policy and treatment. This initiative is built upon the very effective use of similar mini-grants in both the WiNTiP program and the Bucket Approach project designed to develop and mold “tobacco champions.” UW-CTRI staff will draw upon the various materials developed for prior mini-grant programs for this phase of this project.

The UW-CTRI outreach staff will then work with and provide technical assistance to each awardee (Spoke) as they implement their mini-grant. We anticipate this support will include convening all Spokes under the Hub that received funding, jointly, along with the Hub itself to work together.

In addition to a final report and financial information, the capstone project will be a webinar at which each spoke and new tobacco champion will discuss their project. This webinar will be promoted through the state Bureau of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery to all addiction programs in Wisconsin. This webinar will offer free continuing education credits through the UW Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership (ICEP). ICEP will also host the webinar. While this capstone webinar will be targeted to Wisconsin addiction professionals, it will be open and free to all those interested.

2. Survey of Wisconsin addiction programs to assess current tobacco policy and efforts to treat tobacco dependence. The state department of health and UW-CTRI are currently working together in a CDC-sponsored Community of Practice (COP) project to address tobacco in behavioral health. One task of this partnership is to conduct a survey of Wisconsin addiction treatment programs to establish their current tobacco policy and current practices to treat tobacco dependence. This will inform both efforts to reach the new tobacco requirements in the Chapter 75 administrative code that establishes standards for addiction treatment programs as well as the work within the new Hub and Spoke model. UW-CTRI will develop the needed survey, implement the survey electronically, analyze the data, provide a thank-you gift card to each survey respondent, and prepare a report that summarizes the results.

3. Mini-grants. In this project, we will select 10 behavioral health treatment programs to each receive a Tobacco Integration Award. UW-CTRI will provide each grantee with $5,000 as well as guidance and technical assistance. This project will also require a brief report and webinar at the end of the project to disseminate lessons learned statewide.

Therapist and client wear protective face masks

The State of Wisconsin is partnering with statewide partners like UW-CTRI to host a webinar on behavioral health and tobacco use Wednesday, May 19. For more information, click here.