April 2004

Grant Results

SUMMARY

From 2002 to 2003, the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation expanded its First Breath smoking cessation program for low-income pregnant women to become statewide and available to all pregnant women.

The First Breath program integrates smoking cessation counseling into routine prenatal care provided at local public health departments, community health centers, obstetrician offices and Native American Tribal clinics.

Key Results

  • The staff conducted three day-long training sessions, where they trained a total of 198 clinicians from participating health care sites as smoking-cessation counselors.
  • The program, originally at 15 pilot sites in 11 counties, expanded to 81 sites in 47 counties, covering 65 percent of the state. First Breath served more than 320 pregnant women during the grant period.
  • Staff created informational materials and organized public relations activities to support the expansion of First Breath into a statewide initiative for all pregnant women.

Funding
From October 2002 through August 2003, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the expansion with a $49,953 grant.

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THE PROBLEM

According to health care professionals, prenatal maternal smoking causes serious health complications and is a major risk factor for premature birth, miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

In 2001, with funding from the Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board, the Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation started First Breath, a smoking cessation program for low-income pregnant women, a group with a particularly high incidence of smoking. Twenty-three percent of First Breath clients quit smoking during pregnancy and an additional 33 percent cut down substantially on their smoking.

Project staff was ready to expand the program and to make it replicable in other states. The Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation provides health education and encourages women to become advocates for their own health.

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THE PROJECT

The First Breath program integrates smoking cessation counseling into routine prenatal care provided at local public health departments, community health centers, obstetrician offices and Native American Tribal clinics. Participating women receive five to ten minutes of individualized counseling 2 to 12 or more times during pregnancy (depending on how many medical appointments they have).

They also have access to a postpartum support program through the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line, the state's toll-free telephone counseling service. The staff subcontracted with APS Healthcare, Inc. (Madison, Wis.) to collect client data on smoking at enrollment, during the last trimester of pregnancy and postpartum. The subcontractor created an on-line system to allow sites to submit data electronically.

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RESULTS

In a report to RWJF, project staff described the following results of the project.

  • The staff conducted three day-long training sessions, where they trained a total of 198 clinicians from participating health care sites as smoking-cessation counselors.
  • The program, originally at 15 pilot sites in 11 counties, expanded to 81 sites in 47 counties, covering 65 percent of the state. First Breath served more than 320 pregnant women during the grant period.
  • Staff created informational materials and organized public relations activities to support the expansion of First Breath into a statewide initiative for all pregnant women. The staff produced a self-help booklet in English and Spanish; an introductory bilingual brochure for pregnant women; an informational bilingual brochure for family members who smoke; and a women's health day planner/calendar. They have distributed more than 2,000 sets of the materials to health care sites, to members of the Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and to other interested parties on request. Staff also held a series of press conference to publicize the initiative.

Communications

The project director made a presentation to the federal Department of Health and Human Services' Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health (Chicago, December 2002) about the importance of including prenatal smoking cessation within a comprehensive tobacco control initiative.

Staff also made presentations at four national conferences: the National Conference on Tobacco or Health (2002 and 2003); National Maternal & Child Health Epidemiology Conference (2002) and the Annual Meeting of the National Partnership to Help Pregnant Smokers Quit (2003).

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AFTER THE GRANT

Project staff are collecting and analyzing 2003 data. With funding from the Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board ($200,000) and a $50,000 grant from the American Legacy Foundation, the project continues, with an emphasis on serving more women in communities of color. Staff have trained seven peer mentors to participate in a pilot "buddy" program in Dane County, Wisconsin, scheduled to begin in spring 2004.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Expanding a Smoking Cessation Counseling Program for Pregnant and Parenting Women

Grantee

Wisconsin Women's Health Foundation (Madison,  WI)

  • Amount: $ 49,953
    Dates: October 2002 to August 2003
    ID#:  045798

Contact

Lisette Jehn
(608) 251-1675
lisettej@tds.net

Web Site

http://www.wwhf.org

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Report prepared by: Janet Spencer King
Reviewed by: Karyn Feiden
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: C. Tracy Orleans

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