Action Plan

NC Summit Action PlanOn the evening of August 17th and all day August 18, 2011, forty‐two leaders in public health, behavioral health, and tobacco control came together for a first‐ever North Carolina initiative focused on reducing smoking prevalence among people with behavioral health disorders. The summit was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) as part of the Leadership Academies for Wellness and Smoking Cessation. The purpose of the summit was to design an action plan for North Carolina to reduce smoking and nicotine addiction among behavioral health consumers and staff, and to create an environment of collaboration and integration among the fields of public health (including tobacco control and prevention), mental health, and substance abuse services.

The summit began with dinner and a Gallery Walk on August 17, 2011. Steve Jordan, MA, Director, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, and J. Luckey Welsh, FACHE, Director, Division of State Operated Healthcare Facilities welcomed participants to the Summit. Mr. Jordan stated, “It is a golden opportunity for us, North Carolina, to lead with an action plan. When the opportunity came for us to determine if we wanted to be part of the Leadership Academy, I said, ‘Yes.’” He added, “We have to work with the providers, families and patients to provide better interventions and change the culture. Together, we can eliminate the isolation of people with mental illness that contributes to smoking.”

Mr. Welsh stated, “I hope that we will put together an action plan that we can implement in our community and facility settings across the state. We can do it. On that note, let’s get to work!”

Flo Stein, MPH, Chief, Community Policy Management Section, NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, DHHS, also spoke to summit attendees. Flo added, “Thank you all for being here. I just got back from the SAMHSA Advisory Council Meeting, and a lot of people asked about North Carolina. They asked how we can do the things we do. It’s because we have excellent leaders. There are many of you in the room who are pioneers.”

Participants represented federal, state, and local agencies, including mental health, addictions, consumer, community services, non‐profit, academic, quitline, and chronic disease prevention organizations (participant list). Leaders at the summit were well aware that people with behavioral health disorders are disproportionately burdened by the harmful effects of smoking and tobacco use, and each partner committed to the work, target, and strategies established at the summit. In a discussion led by seasoned facilitator, Jolie Bain Pillsbury, Ph.D., each partner expressed their interests in the Academy summit. Themes that emerged from the groups’ interests in being at the summit were data, youth, action plan for change, training and education, networking, policy and systems changes, and consumer focused strategies.

Happy FamilyOn the morning of August 18, 2011, participants began the day with overnight reflections. They were excited to move forward and felt optimistic about the day ahead. One of the participants noted, “What I saw is that the leadership is here. That makes a big difference and that impresses me. I know that when we start with the leaders, we can easily trickle things down.” Another participant said, “I was struck by the huge potential we have to make an impact on people’s lives and reduce the prevalence rates.”

Mr. Jordan and Mr. Welsh provided opening remarks as well. Their presence at the dinner and the following day showed their dedication to the cause. Mr. Jordan reflected, “This brings us back into why we went into the field. We want to help people live better and healthier lives.” Mr. Welsh also offered this call to action, “As we look at where we are and where we want to be, I think first on, what can we do? We have the right people in the room with the competencies to do this. We have many people who represent different agencies. Then, I reflected back on the challenge Dr. Steve Schroeder gave to us last night, and I believe North Carolina can be a leader. If we move below the national average, we can show the nation that we can all do better.”

Steven A. Schroeder, MD, Director, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, presented on research on smoking prevalence, health effects, and innovations in the management of smoking cessation. By the end of the summit, North Carolina partners answered the following questions that framed the Action Plan.

  1. Where are we now?
  2. Where do we want to be?
  3. How will we get there?
  4. How will we know if we are getting there?

The following Action Plan details the group’s baseline, target, recommended strategies, and next steps.

Click here to download the NC Summit Action Plan in PDF format.


Smoking Cessation Leadership Center

NC Department of Health and Human Services

A project of the Governor's Institute on Substance Abuse. Funded in part by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund
(CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.

Organic Themes