Can You Help This Student Figure Out What Helps People in Humboldt Quit Smoking?
This is a press release from Kristen Rees, quality data coordinator for Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District and a student in the master’s degree program in public health at Des Moines University:
This summer at the Health Fair in Garberville, the Cancer Support Services staff at the St. Joseph’s Health Humboldt (SJHH) and Southern Humboldt Community Healthcare District (SHCHD) in Garberville struck up a conversation about tobacco cessation resources in the county. We know much about the negative health outcomes associated with tobacco use, but wouldn’t it be great to know what has helped people here, in Humboldt County, to quit?
That central question evolved into an ideal internship opportunity for Kristen Rees, quality data coordinator for SHCHD and a student in the master’s degree program in public health at Des Moines University (DMU). Completion of a real-world internship is required for DMU’s public health degree program. Rees saw the idea as a way to accomplish something meaningful while fulfilling her internship requirement. She worked with Linda Rasmussen, MS, RN, OCN, oncology quality specialist at SJHH, and the Tobacco Cessation Collaborative was formed. As one of the first orders of business Rees created this survey to answer that first question – what’s helped Humboldt quit?
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking tobacco damages the lungs, can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body and increases the chance of heart disease and stroke. Tobacco use can create many problems during pregnancy, affects a man’s sperm, damages teeth and gums, increases the risk for cataracts and so much more. Many residents of Humboldt County suffer negative health effects associated with tobacco use.
So far, the Tobacco Cessation Collaborative includes individuals from SHCHD and SJHH. As the project progresses, organizers hope to expand the membership and scope of the collaborative. One of their initial strategies is encouraging Humboldt County residents to complete an online survey on what works or has worked to help individuals quit using tobacco, even if for a short time.
“We want to use this information to promote a healthier Humboldt and better care for the communities we serve,” Rees says. “The survey asks if you’ve ever smoked, currently smoke or have ever quit smoking tobacco products. If you have quit, it asks what helped you. This is the focus of our survey. As much detail as possible is very much appreciated. This is followed by six optional demographic questions. There are only 10 questions total. Your time and participation are greatly appreciated.”
To complete the survey, go to https://goo.gl/forms/AEtHwNfo2LOCL45D2