Consortium changes tobacco prevention program in Haines

Posted: Sunday, July 12, 2009

HAINES - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium has changed its tobacco prevention program at the SEARHC Haines Health Center.

Registered nurse Jane Weagant, formerly the tobacco health educator for the office, has taken a part-time job as a registered nurse with the clinic. She will continue to offer tobacco quit services and support to community members, with up to three months of free nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges, etc.). The tobacco quit services at the clinic are free for eligible SEARHC Native patients, while non-Natives are billed on a sliding scale (if qualified by income) for the initial intake and any in-person follow-up visits. Many insurance companies cover the costs of tobacco cessation services. All telephone follow-up services are free. For more information about tobacco quit services, contact Jane at 766-6351.

"Since tobacco use is the No. 1 preventable cause of heart disease and cancer, it makes sense that this service is part of what the SEARHC Haines Health Center offers its patients," said Andrea Thomas, SEARHC Tobacco Program Manager. "We hope community members will continue to seek these great services with us."

In addition to the tobacco quit services, Nancy McGrew has been hired as the new tobacco health educator for Haines. Nancy will provide community education about the effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke for Haines residents. She also will work with community partners, such as the Haines Partnership for Healthy Living. Nancy previously worked in health care as a dietitian. Nancy is based in Jane's old office upstairs at the Gateway Building, and she can be reached at 907-766-6315.

"Nancy's excellent communication and organizational skills will be a great asset to the SEARHC Tobacco Program," Andrea said.

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