Program of the Month

CTTTP Program of the Month Award 
January 2021

Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Tobacco Prevention Program

Program Name: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Tobacco Prevention Program
Contact email: tobacco@anthc.org

How long has the program been operating?  14 years

Number of specialists who have completed the program? 505

What have specialists who have completed your program stated in evaluations?
Participants indicate they like being able to complete some of the course requirements prior to meeting and that they like activities offered in blended format and being able to access training materials online. They also appreciate the network of support that they receive from the training. Each year, we review training evaluations and make adjustments to improve our training capabilities based on participant feedback.

How do you tailor you program to keep learners engaged with the content and materials?
For the past five years, we have taken a blended approach to learning. Blended learning includes completing course work both in and out of the classroom, and utilizes technology to do so. By keeping learning active, participants gain more knowledge of course content. We also provide participants with a comprehensive manual that has additional resources and activities that participants can review and complete.

Describe your program outcomes in one word: Excellent

What do TTS participants report gaining from the program?
Participants have stated over and over again how the training made them feel more confident in their own abilities to offer tobacco cessation to others. The MI training has long been participants favorite portion of the training, as we take a whole day to focus on MI strategies.

What makes your program stand apart? What is unique about it?
We are the only program in Alaska certified to offer TTS training, both online and in-person. We also tailor our training to teach about tobacco prevalence and patterns specific to Alaska (i.e. Iqmik). The program is offered both in-person and online.

Is your program accomplishing its intended results?
Yes, our TTS training program is on target to meet the programs goals on increasing enrollment into the training, integrating more blended activities into the training, and offer the training online at least five times by 2022.

Name one challenge your program encountered and overcame.
Being that Alaska is so geographically vast, we expanded our program in 2016 to include an online format of TTS Training to increase accessibility. There has been a demonstrated need in Alaska and the United States for training to be developed that is more accessible for providers. Many healthcare professionals work in settings that make it difficult to attend in-person trainings. Travel, time away from home and work, finding replacement staff and accommodating training due to staff turnover are all expensive barriers. Online training platforms allow healthcare clinics to meet training needs for staff by increasing accessibility.

Another challenge that our program encountered this year was having to adjust our services to be able to still offer cessation and training during a global pandemic. Our program was fortunate enough to be able to utilize modern technology, such as telehealth in order to still provide evidence-based tobacco cessation to our patients on campus. We opted to not have our annual in-person TTS training this year, and have instead been working on revising our online TTS training, and will be offering that training in spring of 2021.

What else should we know?
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death among Alaska Native people, and American Indian/Alaska Native people have the highest tobacco use rates in the world. While overall tobacco use rates among adults in the United States and Alaska are decreasing, since 1996, the tobacco use rate among Alaska Native adults has remained steady and has not decreased significantly. Alaska Native adults are still twice as likely to smoke as their non-Native counterparts. The ANTHC Tobacco Prevention and Control Program provides direct cessation services at the Alaska Native Medical Center (ANMC) located in Anchorage, Alaska. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Community Health Services commits itself to ensuring that Alaska Native people are the healthiest people in the world by offering strong programs and assisting with the development of policies to prevent disease, premature death and injury. The ANTHC Tobacco Prevention and Control Program supports this mission and vision by providing resources and support for Alaska Native people who use tobacco and are ready to quit using tobacco.

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