A partnership between the University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, Behavioral Health & Wellness Program (BWHP) and County of Los Angeles continues to support community agencies’ ambitious yet realistic goals for addressing the tobacco cessation needs of health disparity populations.
Beginning in 2009, BHWP presented trainings on serving the needs of individuals with mental illnesses and addictions, with a particularl focus on training peer specialists. This work continued into 2011 when LA County received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for national trainings. BHWP provided LA-sponsored trainings for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Boston Department of Public Health, and other city public health departments. This led to BHWP’s contract with the California Tobacco Control Program to provide statewide regional training focused on the behavioral health population from 2013-2015.
From 2020 to the present, LA County has reinvigorated efforts to address the high rates of smoking among overlapping health disparity groups including persons with behavioral conditions, ethnic/minority groups, individuals identifying as LGBTQ, and persons living in poverty. LA County is building a provider base of health care providers trained on evidenced-based clinical practices and the organizational health systems change required to meet current tobacco cessation practice standards. Recent efforts have included DIMENSIONS tobacco treatment specialist and cessation group curriculum trainings, facilitated small- and large- group discussion, agency action planning, and the health disparity Master class webinar series.