Break Free Alliance

Developing and Sustaining Integrated Tobacco and Chronic Disease Programs

Another Gyour1mainman post…

I went to a session focusing on Developing and Sustaining Integrated Tobacco and Chronic Disease Programs. This session was presented by Marlin Williams, from the Health Promotions Council in Philadelphia.

The Health Promotion Council was initiated originally to address hypertension through education and control programs. As the program grew they began working on other issues including tobacco control. The organization has been incorporating a wide variety of chronic disease programs in their work for quite some. He talked about “Cultural Listening” and the importance of listening to the specific needs of your diverse communities. So if your going to do an education program for a specific population you should bring members of the population together and listen to their needs and was to reach them directly. Make sense right? He also discussed how the organization changed throughout the process. It is important to have your leadership/management onboard and in support of integration which might mean taking the opportunity to educate on the benefits and taking the opportunity to address challenges with your organization as a whole. He talked about how it is important to address your program/populations needs in the process, and that some programs can integrate with ease while some should focus on its specific issues based on the community you serve. So I take from this presentation to address your programs/populations specific needs you need to listen to your communities… focus on WHY integration is or is not needed, WHAT to implement based on your communities, and HOW an integrated approach would work with your specific communities… It takes planning. It’s better to make a plan and work with your constituents moving forward then to jump right in with out the proper support and buy in from your organization or community!

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