CAI RECEIVES PROJECTED $2 MILLION GRANT TO ADVANCE TOBACCO FREE COMMUNITIES IN ERIE AND NIAGARA COUNTIES

BUFFALO, NY – CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc) has been awarded a five-year grant to promote anti-tobacco education and activities in both Erie and Niagara counties. It is expected that annual projected grant funding, provided by the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Tobacco Control, will total close to $2 million over the life of the grant. 

“The purpose of these grants is to foster environments supportive of policies that reinforce tobacco-free norms in communities throughout the state,” said Stan Martin, the Project Director at CAI of the local grant-funded project to be called the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Erie & Niagara Counties. “Our goal will be to create a movement which will bring together youth, community stakeholders and health experts who will be fully committed to the reduction of illnesses and deaths attributed to tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke.”

To do this, the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Erie & Niagara plans to implement strategies to:

  • Reduce the impact of retail tobacco marketing on youth and adults, especially those representing disparate populations
  • Increase opportunities for tobacco-free outdoor areas
  • Reduce secondhand smoke exposure in multi-unit housing

In addition, the Coalition plans to continue the support of Reality Check chapters in both counties that will contribute to the advancement and growth of a youth action movement to counter the marketing and advertising tactics of the tobacco industry, including flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes (“vaping”) which has been the fastest growing trend among high-school-aged youth in the state and across the country. According to the state’s Bureau of Tobacco Control Prevalence of Current Smoking Among Adults in New York by County report in 2018, 17.8 percent of adults in Erie smoke, while 23.6 percent of adults in Niagara smoke, which ranks it amongst the highest rates in the entire state.1  

“We’ve made significant advances in terms of reducing the prevalence of tobacco use and there’s still a lot of work to do to address disparities especially in underserved and marginalized communities,” said Terry Alford, Project Manager at CAI.

For more information about the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Erie & Niagara and its upcoming activities, contact Stan Martin, Project Director, or visit caiglobal.org


 1. Source: NYS BRFSS 2016

HOPE BUFFALO RECEIVES CONTINUED FEDERAL FUNDING TEEN PREGNANCY PREVENTION GRANT

$2 Million to Reduce Teen Pregnancy among Females 15-19

BUFFALO, NY – The Erie County Department of Health, in partnership with CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc.), has received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) to facilitate and resource a community-driven plan to reduce teen pregnancy in nine zip code areas (14201, 14204, 14206, 14207, 14208, 14209, 14211, 14213, and 14215) in Buffalo, NY. This is the final year of funding for a five-year grant period.

With this grant, community youth, adults, community-based organizations, and other key stakeholders will work in partnership to reach 15,000 youth ages 15-19 with evidence-based programing in Buffalo Public Schools, after school programs, and in healthcare provider settings. Over the past four years, HOPE Buffalo - a project of CAI - has mobilized and engaged 43 diverse organizations in teen pregnancy prevention.

To date, our formal community-based partners include:

  • Buffalo Public School District
  • Confident Girl Mentoring Program, Inc.
  • Erie County Department of Health
  • Erie 1 BOCES
  • Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties
  • Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York
  • SS Columba Brigid
  • University of Washington
  • Via Evaluation

“Continued funding for the HOPE Buffalo project provides youth in Buffalo with access to comprehensive reproductive health education, health care providers and preventive services,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale R. Burstein. “When youth have the tools to make informed decisions about their health and relationships, our community takes an important step towards improving public health.”

To achieve this long-term goal, HOPE Buffalo is employing three overarching strategies:

  1. Delivery of Evidence-Based Interventions (EBIs) in cooperation with multiple Implementing Organizations (IOs), including community-based organizations (CBOs), schools, clinics, and facilities serving homeless and runaway teens;
  2. Establishment of a referral and linkage network of youth-affirming health care providers and services that offer safe, supportive, and inclusive environments; and
  3. Community mobilization, including youth and community leadership.

“We are excited for the opportunity to continue the important work that we started four years ago,” said Stan Martin, Project Director, CAI. “CAI is committed to ensuring that the youth voice is embedded in our work. A key aspect of the HOPE Buffalo initiative involves establishing inclusive, safe, and supportive environments in which youth can obtain information, resources, and services related to adolescent reproductive health and wellness.”

To learn more about this exciting initiative, please visit hopebuffalo.org or contact Stan Martin, Project Director, at (716) 246-3006 ext. 700 or via email at smartin@caiglobal.org

CAI Funded as a National Training Center for HIV Prevention

New York, NY – Cicatelli Associates Inc. (CAI) has been awarded a national cooperative agreement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to operate a National HIV Classroom Learning Center (NCLC) with the mission of strengthening the country’s HIV prevention workforce and to accelerate progress towards ending the AIDS epidemic. Under this agreement, the largest ever funded for HIV capacity building prevention, CAI will conduct nationwide state of the art training programs in the hardest hit jurisdictions and design new HIV prevention and treatment curricula to continuously update the country’s HIV workforce.

The National HIV Classroom Learning Center will ensure the dissemination of knowledge, skills and competencies to implement public health strategies to end the HIV epidemic, such as trainings on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that when taken daily, prevents new HIV infections. The NCLC, which began operations on April 1, 2019 supports the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “End the Epidemic – Plan for America” which seeks to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. within 10 years. “This funding advances our mission to use the transformative power of education and research to foster a more aware, healthy, compassionate and equitable world,” said Barbara Cicatelli, CAI’s founder and CEO.

The National Classroom Learning Center will strengthen the capacity and improve the performance of CDC-funded staff at state and local health departments, community-based organizations (CBOs) and healthcare providers. CAI is well positioned to meet the needs of staff working in the field with offices in some of the communities hit hardest by HIV - Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the CDC in ensuring that those involved in the national response receive trainings in the most up to date HIV prevention and treatment strategies” said Dr. Tony Jimenez, Project Director and Principal Investigator for the Training Center. “We will use adult learning principles, collect quality data, and culturally appropriate and dynamic educational tools to design and conduct the courses for providers who serve people with HIV and populations at greatest risk for HIV infection”.

For more information, contact:  Tony Jimenez, MD at 212.594.7741 ext. 209 or tony@caiglobal.org

CAI PARTNERS WITH LOCAL FOUNDATIONS TO CONVENE THE COLORADO COLLABORATIVE FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH EQUITY TO PROMOTE ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION FOR COLORADANS

Denver, CO – CAI (Cicatelli Associates Inc.) is pleased to announce its new role as the Technical Assistance Partner with the Caring for Colorado Foundation (CFC) and The Colorado Health Foundation (TCHF) in an innovative initiative to further enhance Colorado’s commitment to supporting universal access to comprehensive, culturally responsive contraceptive services for Coloradans.

Through the Contraceptive Access Change Package, CAI will identify and convene 12 of the state’s most motivated safety net clinics over an 18-month learning collaborative. Through a structured improvement process, CAI will support the clinics in strengthening their service delivery structures to provide client-centered contraceptive care that ensures every patient, at every visit to a healthcare provider, has access to the services they need to plan their families and become parents if and when they are ready.

For nearly 40 years, CAI has been a leader in promoting sexual and reproductive health by strengthening systems and workforce capacity to improve access to, and quality of, services. CAI is a leader in exploring how to apply principles of reproductive justice in the delivery of contraceptive care. We have partnered with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) across the nation to address disparities in access to quality, patient-centered contraceptive care. By working in partnership with healthcare providers, CAI builds on their unique strengths to make sure that every patient has an opportunity to be provided accurate and unbiased information about their contraceptive options, to select a contraceptive method that aligns with their preferences and priorities, and be provided their method of choice that same day, regardless of ability to pay, should they decide to contracept.

Project Director, Alice Douglas, a Denver native says, “I am so happy to be back in Colorado doing this innovative and important work. This partnership with CFC and TCHF allows us to combine CAI’s nationwide experiences supporting the integration of contraceptive care into primary care settings, with local expertise, previous successes and lessons learned. Through this, we’re taking steps towards ensuring all Coloradans regardless of where they live, who they are, and their circumstances, have better access to the care they want and need, impacting their lives and the lives of future generations.”

Based in the Colorado Office, Project Director, Alice Douglas can be reached at adouglas@caiglobal.org.

 
About Caring for Colorado (CFC): CFC, together with our partners, is committed to addressing the most pressing health needs of vulnerable and underserved populations in Colorado. Since 2001, Caring for Colorado foundation has awarded more than $100 million in grants across all 64 counties in Colorado. For more information please visit: www.caringforcolorado.org
 
About The Colorado Health Foundation (TCHF): TCHF is bringing health in reach for all Coloradans by engaging closely with communities across the state through investing, policy advocacy, learning and capacity building. For more information, please visit: www.coloradohealth.org

The Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement (COE for HSI) Prepares for August 1st Smoke-Free Public Housing Launch

New York, NY - Residents living in federally-funded public housing need our support now more than ever to comply with a new U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) ruling. On August 1, 2018, HUD will require that all local public housing authorities implement a smoke-free policy. Although the HUD ruling does not require residents to be non-smokers, it does prohibit the use of combustible tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, and cigarillos) anywhere inside or within 25 feet of HUD-funded buildings.  

 The plan significantly impacts all NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants, as well as other local housing authorities statewide including those in Albany, Buffalo, and Yonkers. According to the NYCHA 2017 Fact Sheet, NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America with 176,066 public housing apartments in 2,462 buildings in 326 developments throughout the five boroughs.  590,216 New Yorkers are served by NYCHA housing.

 Maintaining safe and affordable housing is an important social determinant of health, and the loss of one’s housing leads to increased risk of health problems. To prevent residents of Public Housing who are smokers from potentially losing their housing, the Center of Excellence for Health Systems Improvement for Tobacco-Free NY (COE for HSI) is working alongside ten Regional Health Systems Improvement Grantees throughout NYS to make sure healthcare providers, who are in a position to screen and arrange for treatment of tobacco use, are aware of the ruling. This includes continuing to work with healthcare providers to ensure that they have systems in place to screen patients and to help them quit. In addition, it is important that current smokers living in HUD housing know that help is available and that their healthcare providers can assist them in quitting, and that the assistance is covered by Medicaid and most private insurers.

In addition to their current work as the COE for HSI, CAI served as the tobacco control training center for New York State for ten years —delivering customized trainings to Regional Grantees of the New York State Bureau of Tobacco Control. In a state where more than 28,000 adults die every year due to smoking, CAI trainings have helped New York achieve its goal of reducing the prevalence of cigarette use among adults and adolescents.

 For more information about the HUD Housing ruling, or if you are a healthcare provider seeking support on how to better assist public housing residents with this change, please contact the COE for HSI Project Director at mgraziano@caiglobal.org.