The Kansas Health Foundation and CEI Coordinate a Convening Supporting Tobacco Treatment and Recovery in Behavioral Health Initiative

The Kansas Health Foundation recently announced a second phase for the tobacco treatment and recovery in behavioral health initiative, where 7 organizations were chosen to continue their work to implement policies and organizational system changes to reduce tobacco use among individuals experiencing behavioral health and substance use issues. As part of wrapping up phase one of this initiative, the cohort decided to share the information they have learned over the past 3 years. On April 11th and 12th, the Community Engagement Institute’s Center for Organizational Development and Collaboration helped coordinate a convening centered on supporting tobacco treatment and recovery in behavioral health. Participants came to learn best practices and strategies to reduce tobacco use and improve wellness among their program participants. A total of 82 individuals representing 32 organizations across Kansas attended this convening at the Kansas Leadership Center.

The convening was kicked off by a poster session highlighting the work from the 7 organizations in the cohort and a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Ablah from WorkWell Kansas, who talked about the importance on making change in this area. The full day continued with information on the Kansas Tobacco Guidelines for Behavioral Health and the evidence-based strategies it contains. Breakout sessions in this convening included: the application of motivational interviewing in tobacco treatment, Brief Tobacco Intervention (BTI) and Kansas Quitline, Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS), and Breath Easy Live Well. Participants left the convening with an action plan to support concrete first steps. With positive responses and momentum around this convening, the cohort has begun to further discuss future convenings that will help educate and motivate others doing similar work in Kansas.

Article on phase 2 of this grant: visit