October 2003

Grant Results

SUMMARY

During 2001 and 2002, Morse Enterprises, a communications and information brokerage company, Silver Spring, Md., worked to pursue a national strategy for tobacco control in minority communities.

In the 1990s, the minority-owned Morse Enterprises, through its National Tobacco Independence Campaign, hosted seven tobacco-control conferences by, for and about minorities, particularly African Americans. As part of its campaign, Morse Enterprises also developed a systemic tobacco-control initiative called the ideaFACTORY.

Key Results
Project staff accomplished the following:

  • Established a collaborative agreement between the campaign and other national African-American tobacco-control organizations as well as solid working relationships with the Vietnamese American Mutual Association of Maryland; the Asian American Health Association and Anti-Tobacco Foundation; and the World Chinese League and the Latino Health Initiative.
  • Refined and published a booklet describing its tobacco-control strategy, the ideaFactory. The booklet includes material on disseminating science-based information, outreach efforts and online training opportunities.
  • Presented an anti-tobacco presentation called "Why Steppers Don't Smoke" at a youth stepping workshop in Washington in October 2001, attended by approximately 125 youth ages 9 to 17 from the District of Columbia's inner-city and surrounding suburbs.

Among other activities accomplished, the project:

  • Helped Morse to communicate and consult with tobacco-control stakeholders about ways to re-direct programs, avoid duplication and systemically achieve tobacco-control measures in minority communities.
  • Identified barriers and solutions to cooperative work with African-American, Vietnamese, Chinese and Hispanic groups.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported Morse Enterprises' work with a contract for $90,164 between October 2001 and November 2002.

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THE PROBLEM

Minority groups suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related health problems, yet few tobacco-control conferences and trainings have focused on issues relevant to minorities. In the 1990s, the minority-owned Morse Enterprises, through its National Tobacco Independence Campaign, hosted seven tobacco-control conferences by, for and about minorities, particularly African Americans.

As part of its campaign, Morse Enterprises also developed a systemic tobacco-control initiative, called the ideaFACTORY, to:

  1. Highlight successful and promising tobacco-control initiatives.
  2. Engage veteran tobacco-control specialists in teaching less experienced workers how to replicate such projects in their communities.
  3. Disseminate science-based information about tobacco use prevention through performing arts.
  4. Introduce and distribute prepackaged smoking-cessation programs.

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RWJF STRATEGY

This project was part of an effort by RWJF to strengthen minority organizations in their efforts to combat alcohol and tobacco use in their communities. Among the related grants are those to four organizations to enhance their involvement in tobacco control: the Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco Prevention (ID#s 038645 and 040824 — see Grant Results on ID# 038645); Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership Network (ID# 040827); the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network (ID# 040826); and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (ID# 040828).

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THE PROJECT

Morse Enterprises originally proposed to hold a three-day conference on tobacco control in November 2001 to introduce the ideaFACTORY and companion components in support of minority and other special population groups.

Given the events of September 11th and reluctance of people to travel, the organizers postponed and eventually cancelled the conference because they could not secure additional funding. As a consequence and to capitalize on the campaign's outreach and networking activities, Morse Enterprises arranged to present key aspects of the conference through other venues. Those aspects included campaign initiatives in the areas of cessation, information dissemination, multimedia and electronic communications channels.

In keeping with the major focus of the cancelled conference, Morse Enterprises partnered with Patient Support International and the University of Florida College of Medicine to host a luncheon during the National Tobacco Conference in San Francisco. During the by-invitation-only lunch, 50 persons were introduced to the ideaFACTORY illustrative projects as well as online and on-site professional development courses available through the campaign.

Professional development courses introduced at lunch through the ideaFACTORY ranged from very basic information about the tobacco-control movement and cessation-coaching training, to more advanced courses in the Epidemiology and Health Issues of Tobacco Addiction, cessation counseling and certification through the satisfactory completion of courses developed by campaign partners at the University of Florida College of Medicine and Patient Support International.

The forum especially served to describe how to become a tobacco addiction specialist certified by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors, the premier organization for addiction professionals.

Also during the luncheon forum, Morse Enterprises staff described the campaign's strengthened collaboration with StepAfrika! USA (a group of professional African-American and African step artists and theatrical performers based in Washington) to disseminate science-based information about tobacco use to youth and among adults. They also described easily replicable illustrative projects available from California, Kentucky and Maryland. (Stepping is a stylized dance form with roots in African dance, music and movement.)

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RESULTS

Project staff accomplished the following.

  • Established a collaborative agreement between the campaign and other national African-American tobacco-control organizations as well as solid working relationships with the Vietnamese American Mutual Association of Maryland; the Asian American Health Association and Anti-Tobacco Foundation; and the World Chinese League and the Latino Health Initiative.
  • Refined and published a booklet describing its tobacco-control strategy, the ideaFactory. The booklet includes material on disseminating science-based information, outreach efforts and online training opportunities.
  • Presented an anti-tobacco presentation called "Why Steppers Don't Smoke" at a youth stepping workshop in Washington in October 2001, attended by approximately 125 youth ages 9 to 17 from the District of Columbia's inner-city and surrounding suburbs. StepAfrika! USA conducted the workshop centered around the campaign's anti-tobacco presentation.

This project also served to reposition the effectiveness and efficiency of the National Tobacco Independence Campaign. Among other activities accomplished, the project:

  • Helped Morse to communicate and consult with tobacco-control stakeholders about ways to re-direct programs, avoid duplication and systemically achieve tobacco-control measures in minority communities.
  • Identified barriers and solutions to cooperative work with African-American, Vietnamese, Chinese and Hispanic groups.
  • Provided the means for Morse Enterprises to convene and/or participate in a number of meetings and conference calls with representatives of other organizations and agencies involved in tobacco control to discuss collaborative efforts on a wide range of initiatives, including possible national conferences.

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AFTER THE GRANT

Morse Enterprises continues to promote its tobacco-control strategy and to seek funding for its implementation. It continues to collaborate with StepAfrika! USA and seeks funding to initiate step camps that provide total immersion of tobacco use intervention and prevention measures for youth.

It also is seeking funding for a 10-city adult presentation tour of science-based information. Morse Enterprises also maintains a partnership with the University of Florida College of Medicine and Patient Support International, and as a result facilitates online courses on tobacco control titled, "Tobacco 101," "The Epidemiology of Tobacco Addiction," and "Tobacco Addiction Counseling" as part of its Tobacco Independence Campaign computerized training program offerings. Morse Enterprises is seeking funding support to increase the content diversity of each of the aforementioned courses.

Additionally:

  • The project director and StepAfrika! USA performed together at the February 2, 2003, National Women and Tobacco Conference sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, in Houston before approximately 200 conference participants. The presentation illustrated how science-based information can be presented to adult audiences in an interesting and palatable way. Key participants shared the following comments about the presentation. "StepAfrika!'s performance was electrifying and energizing. They brought fresh energy, inspiring values and great fun to the work of the conference. They also opened our eyes to the power of dance and tailored messages to reach key audiences we often miss," said C. Tracy Orleans, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior scientist. In agreement, Anna Levy, deputy director, National Cancer Institute Office of Women's Health said, "StepAfrika!'s presentation at our February 2003 meeting was a marvelous demonstration of an innovative way to communicate important health messages." Also concurring was Michele Bloch, medical officer, National Cancer Institute Tobacco Control Research Branch, who said, "The NTIC/StepAfrika! presentation was wonderful and captivated the audience during the conference."
  • As a direct result of their performance during the National Cancer Institute Women, Tobacco and Cancer Conference in Houston (February 2003) the project director and Step Afrika! were invited and did perform at the Montgomery County Tobacco Control Summit in July 2003 and may be considered for funding support by appropriate NIH affiliate institutes.
  • The ideaFACTORY helps community groups and tobacco coalitions to develop projects that help tobacco users quit. The campaign's cessation-coaching program is one such project; it is a part of the 2003 ideaFACTORY offerings. The cessation-coaching project has attracted the interest of tobacco coalitions in California, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Maryland.
  • The summer 2003 cessation-coaching course in Montgomery County Maryland included participants from the NAACP, the Urban League, and an African-American tobacco coalition as well as representatives from two African-American women's groups.
  • With help from the campaign's ideaFACTORY, the Urban League of the Greater Washington Area plans to initiate a tobacco cessation project as part of its health initiative.
  • As of Summer–Fall 2003, 115 people have trained to become tobacco addiction specialists for certification by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professionals, and 65 have completed the requirements. Certified specialists are eligible for reimbursement as professional providers of cessation-counseling services by participating insurance carriers.
  • The campaign partners will host a series of on-site trainings for others to become certified as tobacco addiction specialists. The first and second courses were offered in Pennsylvania, the third in Jacksonville, Fla. (September 2003) and the fourth in the District of Columbia metropolitan area (October 2003).
  • The project has strengthened its relationship with the Vietnamese Mutual Association of Maryland and has engaged in two on-site (and a series of televised) tobacco use prevention trainings at the request of that organization. The project work in the Vietnamese community introduced "Moving Toward Health: Achieving Parity through Tobacco Control for All Communities," the toolkit developed by the Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment and Leadership Network.
  • The project has collaborated with the Asian American Health Association and Anti-Tobacco Foundation, the World Chinese League and the Latino Health Initiative.
  • The campaign has begun to serve the cessation needs of local businesses whose employees want to quit the use of tobacco. Large companies/entities served since the RWJF grant include Verizon, WESTAT and Jessup maximum-security prison.
  • The project director provided educational testimony to the Montgomery County Council about the impact of tobacco smoke in communities of color as part of local efforts to make public places smoke free. The initiative was successful and as a result, Montgomery County restaurants and other public places are smoke free.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Tobacco Control Training Forum for Multicultural Groups

Grantee

Morse Enterprises (Silver Spring,  MD)

  • Amount: $ 90,164
    Dates: October 2001 to November 2002
    ID#:  042919

Contact

Mildred Morse
(301) 879-7933
redmorse@aol.com

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Reports

The ideaFACTORY: A Project of the National Tobacco Independence Campaign. Silver Spring, Md.: Morse Enterprises, 2002.

Tobacco 101, Epidemiology & Health Issues of Tobacco Addiction, University of Florida College of Medicine. Timothy J. VanSusteren, Course Director, 2002.

Tobacco Addiction Counseling, A certification program for Tobacco Addiction Counselors, University of Florida College of Medicine, Timothy VanSusteren, Course Director, 2002.

Tobacco School, University of Florida College of Medicine, Timothy VanSusteren, Course Director, 2001.

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Report prepared by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Michelle Larkin

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