Pittsburgh is known for the steel mills that built America, and although the smoke stacks of those mills are mostly gone, the smoke remains. Almost 22 percent of all Pittsburgh residents, and the surrounding Allegheny County, smoke. Individuals with mental illness make up a disproportionate number of those who smoke, with a cancer incidence rate that is 2.6 times higher than individuals with no mental illness, and have a higher cancer mortality rate.
Through the National Behavioral Health Network for Tobacco & Cancer Control’s (NBHN) Community of Practice, healthcare providers and public health coalitions across Pittsburgh and Allegheny County forged new partnerships to address these disparate health outcomes.
Pittsburgh Mercy’s Community of Practice team used their time and resources to develop innovative wellness programming while connecting with national experts around best practices to reduce tobacco use and increase overall health and wellness in their community. Pittsburgh Mercy’s new partnerships supported increased referrals between the county’s tobacco free coalition and healthcare providers. In turn, healthcare providers could leverage the coalitions’ visibility to spread information about smoking cessation supports.
Sparked your interest? Check out the video about these exciting partnerships: