Colleagues from UW-CTRI celebrated the 31st year of the Center and honored four long-time employees who are retiring or switching roles.
They honored Dr. Wendy Theobald, Marie Larson, Dr. Michael Fiore and Dr. Doug Jorenby for their years of contributions to helping people quit tobacco use.
While Theobald, Larson, and Jorenby are fully retiring, UW-CTRI Co-Founder and Director Dr. Michael Fiore is retiring from serving as the director, but will remain as a consultant and principal investigator on his R-35 grant. UW is hiring a new director who will begin this fall.
To honor Fiore, Dr. Megan Piper presented him with an honorary medal for lifetime achievement in helping people across the globe to quit tobacco use, and to systematically help clinicians and health systems to treat it. Dr. Brian Williams presented Fiore with a model of the UW-CTRI headquarters made from LEGO. Dr. Marlon Mundt read a poem he wrote for Fiore, and colleagues shared their admiration, appreciation, and respect for Fiore.
UW-CTRI leaders spoke about the direction in which the Center is moving. Co-Directors of Research Dr. Megan Piper and Dr. Danielle McCarthy talked about research foci, including examining tobacco treatment as chronic care, tobacco treatment in cancer care, how to help communities especially burdened by tobacco with the help of community advisory boards, research on vaping and marijuana, and much more.
UW-CTRI Outreach Director Rob Adsit spoke about how the Center is working with health systems to help people quit tobacco use. He introduced the four UW-CTRI regional outreach specialists Sarah Thompson, Allie Gorrilla, Amy Skora and Susan Lundsten. They work to systematically help patients across the state quit tobacco use, and focus particularly on behavioral health patients, justice-involved patients, rural patients, those who vape, and training the next generation of providers on how to treat tobacco use. He also heralded the work of Kate Kobinsky to coordinate the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line.
Fiore also acknowledged and featured colleagues attending their first UW-CTRI annual all-staff meeting: Hannah Hayward, Dr. Jen Betts, Sarah Jarvis, Laila Sabha, Mara Minion, and Dr. Jennifer Bird.
Fiore thanked Kay Lera for her wonderful coordination of the event. He honored Dr. Jessica Cook and Tess Kuba for their 15 years of service at UW-CTRI.
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Jack Williford, Lisa Rogers, and Kay Lera for sharing their photography talents for this story.