The Case Western Reserve University's Center for Health Promotion Research, which is a research and evaluation centre at the School of Medicine's Department of Epidemiology and Bio statistics, had recently been awarded a $450,000 contract from the Ohio Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Foundation (TUPCF) to develop the Ohio Tobacco Research and Evaluation Center (OTREC). It was explained that OTREC would assist with statewide tobacco prevention and control efforts supported by TUPCF.
Created by the Ohio General Assembly in 2000, TUPCF was funded with monies secured from the national Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) between tobacco companies and 46 states.
TUPCF is charged with reducing tobacco use among Ohioans, with an emphasis on youth, minority, and regional populations; pregnant women; and others who may be disproportionately affected by the use of tobacco. TUPCF programs include the distribution of community grants; Ohio's tobacco use counter-marketing campaign (stand); and, the free Ohio Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW).
The CASE-based research and evaluation centre will work with more than 60 community organizations across the state that have received over $12 million annually in TUPCF funding to provide prevention and cessation programming and to encourage tobacco policy change throughout their communities. The Centre's work will involve the development of a statewide evaluation plan with a centralized data collection system and developing resources and tools for building local capacity in program evaluation. In addition, the Center will be responsible for analysing trends in regional and statewide youth and adult tobacco surveillance data, as well as changes in local clean indoor air policies.
We are very excited about this opportunity to work with TUPCF on this important public health issue to reduce tobacco use throughout Ohio, states Dr. Elaine Borawski, director of the Center for Health Promotion Research and principal investigator of the newly developed OTREC.
She adds, Part of our Centre's mission is to provide technical assistance to the public health community, drawing upon our research and evaluation expertise and the state-of-the-art technology that CASE can provide to collect and disseminate data in ways that are innovative, efficient and useful to the local agencies. We are thrilled to take what we've learned at the local level and extend it to the stateside effort.
According to Dr. Jeff Willett, director of evaluation for TUPCF, CASE was selected because they brought to the table the expertise, experience and technical resources needed to not only help us to evaluate our state-wide efforts, but to develop a nationally recognized evaluation centre that would serve as a resource to state-wide tobacco prevention and control efforts across the country.