UW-CTRI Appreciates Rob Adsit as He Retires

UW-CTRI Outreach Director Rob Adsit, MEd, will have his last day at work for UW-CTRI in March and formally retire in July after 20 years of distinguished service at the Center.

Details regarding his replacement will be forthcoming over the next few weeks, said UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore.

Rob Adsit
Rob Adsit

He joined the UW-CTRI staff in October 2004 as Outreach Supervisor. In July 2010, he succeeded Lezli Redmond as UW-CTRI Outreach Director.

Adsit currently aids the regional outreach specialists serving Wisconsin in the work they do with healthcare professionals, healthcare systems and community members. He provides support and assistance with planning, implementation and evaluation of outreach projects.

“Rob has been a strong advocate for the Outreach Program,” said UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialist Allison Gorrilla, “statewide and on a national stage, throughout his UW-CTRI career. Rob’s trust in me to work independently and take initiative has helped me to grow professionally. I’m grateful for the experiences and opportunities Rob has offered me under his leadership. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Rob!”

“I have been so incredibly fortunate to have had Rob as my direct supervisor for the last 12 years,” said UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialist Amy Skora. “I have appreciated his steady leadership in his role as Outreach Director and his approachable, ‘door is always open’ demeanor. It is evident how he always aimed to put the Outreach Program and staff, our funders, and our partners at the forefront of all he did.

The UW-CTRI Outreach team gathered for the UW-CTRI 30th Anniversary event. 
The UW-CTRI Outreach team gathered for the UW-CTRI 30th Anniversary event.

“Rob’s expertise with health systems change and advancing EHR-integration of tobacco treatment in Wisconsin, and beyond, has been such a vital contribution not only to this specific work, but also my own professional development around the topic. The first-hand opportunities I have had to gain knowledge from Rob has been invaluable.”

“In addition to his extraordinary content expertise, he has been an invaluable source of sage advice and counsel to me as director,” said Fiore. “I could always turn to Rob for frank, confidential, thoughtful, and incredibly helpful insights. He has helped guide me through numerous organizational challenges. I know I am just one of many in our Center, state and nationally who will deeply miss his professional expertise and his personal support.”

Dr. Michael Fiore presents a medal to Adsit for his years of service.
Dr. Michael Fiore presents a medal to Adsit for his years of service.

Adsit brings to his work at UW-CTRI knowledge in organization and systems models, community organizing, community relationship–building, and a strong interest in health and economic disparities, diversity and inclusiveness.

“Congratulations to Rob on his impending retirement,” said Dr. Doug Jorenby, retired Director of Clinical Services at UW-CTRI. “He has done an incredible job over the past two decades, nurturing and growing one of the things that has made UW-CTRI truly unique among US tobacco control programs: giving Wisconsin an infrastructure to disseminate and support evidence-based tobacco control. While the Outreach program started as a way to disseminate the US Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline, Rob’s foresight and guidance helped it anticipate needs across the state. That involved pragmatic training at all levels of healthcare on how to deliver quality smoking cessation services, how healthcare systems could best support such care, responding to emergent challenges like the rise of vaping, and proactively working with Wisconsin’s behavioral health system to create policies to support tobacco-free treatment facilities and then work with systems to make those policies reality.”

Over his years at UW-CTRI, Adsit developed nationally recognized expertise in two novel and essential areas: a) using the electronic health record technology to identify and treat patients who use tobacco, and b) effective strategies to implement changes in health care systems to make evidence-based tobacco cessation the standard of care.

Adsit served on the North American Quitline Consortium Board of Directors from 2015 to 2018 and was a Chapter Co-Author for the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Cessation. He was involved in virtually every major outward facing initiative of the center as well as many statewide and national initiatives (e.g., Striving to Quit, U Can Quit [UW Health], the statewide free patch program, The Joint Commission Tobacco Measures Advisory Group, C3I, CEC-UW) and increasingly has played a central role in our research endeavors—including 38 research papers.

For the last few years, he has served as a consultant to the CDC on tobacco cessation policy issues and health systems changes, and played a major role in writing, developing, and disseminating the CDC’s Million Hearts Tobacco Content.

Rob is “kind, compassionate, hard-working, authentic, smart,” said Lezli Redmond, former UW-CTRI Outreach Director from 2000 to 2010. “I’m so grateful that I had the chance to work with Rob. I want to say, congratulations.”

“I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss Rob’s cool, calm demeanor in meetings,” said UW-CTRI Research Director Dr. Danielle McCarthy. “You’ve been such a joy to work with, you’ve done so much good work and have had such a big impact. One of the things that’s most inspiring to work with you, is to see how effectively you advocate for your team and quietly promote smoking cessation in ways that have reverberated around the country and beyond.”

Jorenby added, “And if all that wasn’t enough, I will say that as someone legendarily reluctant to commit to meetings, Rob’s quarterly Outreach meetings never failed to generate lots of laughter and enthusiasm from all involved. That’s some of the highest praise I can muster.”

“We will certainly miss Rob and hope he enjoys retirement to the fullest,” said UW-CTRI Regional Outreach Specialist Susan Lundsten.