ClearWay Minnesota(SM) Board approves grants for health systems change, research

New projects will improve how clinics help smokers, study approaches to increase quitting

Mar 19, 2015, 14:33 ET from ClearWay Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, March 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At its meeting on March 18, ClearWay Minnesota's Board of Directors approved four grants for tobacco-related health systems change and research. Together, the four grants total $774,910.

The two health systems change grants will help ensure that addressing tobacco use is fully integrated into the health care experience for patients. ClearWay Minnesota works to make sure all Minnesotans have access to comprehensive quit-tobacco services. Priorities include ensuring that all health insurance products cover tobacco cessation, that all providers routinely address tobacco with patients and that more smokers are connected to quitting resources.  

At yesterday's meeting, health systems change grants were awarded to:

  • Apple Tree Dental, a dental-care provider that serves populations at high risk for tobacco use, to fully integrate tobacco dependence diagnosis and treatment processes at all sites. The total grant award is not to exceed $200,000 for a term of two years. The Project Director is Teresa Johnson, D.D.S.
  • Essentia Health, to improve capacity to use technology and data in primary care in ways that will increase the delivery of tobacco dependence treatment. The total grant award is not to exceed $200,000 for a term of two years. The Project Director is Cindy Ferrara.

"Medical and dental care settings are ideal places to reach out to tobacco users and provide help and support in the quitting process," said David Willoughby, Chief Executive Officer of ClearWay Minnesota. "This funding will help create norms and expectations that tobacco use will be addressed as a part of delivering quality health care. Ultimately, this work will help improve patients' health and reduce health care costs due to tobacco use."

The research grants will fund studies on how to increase quit attempts among adult smokers. Through them, ClearWay Minnesota will aim to further understand the nature of quit attempts, and to find effective, innovative approaches that improve the likelihood of successfully quitting, especially among groups disproportionately affected by tobacco use.

The new grants were awarded to:

  • The University of Minnesota, for a proposal that will determine whether high-intensity exercise can increase quit attempts in young adults. The total grant award is not to exceed $124,910 for a term of 18 months. The Principal Investigator is Alicia Allen, Ph.D.
  • The American Indian Cancer Foundation, for a study to engage American Indian health systems in increasing quit attempts, effective cessation assistance and quit rates. The total grant award is not to exceed $250,000 for a term of 30 months. The Principal Investigator is Kristine Rhodes, M.P.H.

"Minnesotans are not touched equally by tobacco use, and quitting approaches resonate differently with different groups," said Willoughby. "These research projects will explore new ways to help specific demographics achieve success at quitting."

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit


SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota