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Grant Helps Smokers 'Smoke Less—Breathe More'

Fostoria Community Hospital

Becky Bouillon, RN, BSN, CTTS-M, health educator, Fostoria Community Hospital, counsels a member of the Fostoria community during one of the Smoke Less—Breathe More one-on-one sessions.

With the support of the AMA Foundation, the Fostoria Community Hospital is reaching out to the low income members of their rural northwest Ohio community to help them successfully stop smoking.

“Most of our patients don’t have $120 for a Chantix prescription, which is where the AMA Foundation grant really helps,” says Becky Bouillon, RN, BSN, CTTS-M, a health educator for the Fostoria Community Hospital’s Smoke Less—Breathe More program.

Bouillon and her colleagues conduct one-on-one smoking cessation counseling combining behavioral counseling with drug or nicotine replacement therapy. The Smoke Less—Breathe More program includes six or seven in-person meetings and a series of follow-up telephone calls.

According to Ms. Bouillon, the national quit rate is 27%, and most smokers make between five and seven attempts to quit smoking before they are successful: “We are proud to be part of the continuum. We hope all of our program participants will quit smoking forever, but we also know that if they relapse, we have still put them a step closer to quitting for good.”

Marianne’s Story

“I knew I was at risk for lung cancer,” says Marianne Adkins, who is about to complete the Fostoria smoking cessation program. She smoked for 30 years and had worked in a variety of industrial settings where she came in constant contact with environmental toxins such as coal dust and flux fumes.

“I tried everything to quit; patches, Wellbutrin and Zyban didn’t help. In fact, the side effects usually made me feel worse than smoking,” Ms. Adkins says.

In December 2008, Ms. Adkins learned that she had a 2 cm malignant lesion in her lung and would have to quit smoking for good. This time she turned to the Smoke Less—Breathe More program offered to low income individuals through Fostoria Community Hospital.

“I couldn’t have done it without the medication prescribed through the program,” Ms. Adkins comments. “I also like the feeling of attachment I get with the program. Fostoria is home base to me and helps me not go back to smoking.”

The program’s follow up calls extend patient accountability beyond the face to face meetings for an additional couple of months after conclusion of the meetings.

Ms. Adkins received good news following her January lung surgery. The tumor had not spread and she would not need to undergo chemotherapy or radiation.

The Fostoria smoking cessation program has been awarded a $2,000 grant from the AMA Foundation’s Fund for Better Health.

“Coaching people toward better health is a vital part of life today,” says Fund for Better Health donor Dee Loge-Wacker, who is also a member of the AMA Alliance’s AMA Foundation Committee.

The Fund for Better Health encourages healthy lifestyles in communities across the United States. Supported by the AMA Alliance, this fund provides grants of up to $5,000 for projects that address the following areas: nutrition and physical fitness; alcohol, substance abuse and smoking prevention; and violence prevention. To date, the program has awarded nearly $300,000 to more than 200 community organizations nationally.

Please visit www.amafoundation.org/go/betterhealth for more information. Donations needed to support the AMA Foundation's efforts to increase healthy lifestyles education and awareness can be made at www.amafoundation.org or call (312) 464-4200.