2008-11-28 / Community

Addabbo Health Center Helps Rockaway Breathe Better

A collaboration among the American Cancer Society, Queens Health Network, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center aids Queens-based health care providers follow the best practices for helping their patients quit smoking. The goal is to have providers give their patients the appropriate referrals. Guidance from a doctor increases the success rate for quitting smoking long-term from seven percent to 30 percent.

Since 2005, the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center has worked with the American Cancer Society to reduce tobacco use and promote better health in the Rockaway community. Addabbo was one of the first partners to successfully implement a system of screening and treating all patients who use tobacco.

Dr. Cho Cho Han and other adult care physicians at the Arverne site have provided the top Fax to Quit referrals to the New York State Quitline every year, with contributing 20 to 40 percent of all referrals in Queens County and referring more than 130 patients after three years.

As the primary care provider with the most referrals every year from 2005 to 2007, Dr. Cho Cho Han has promoted Quitline services that include free nicotine starter kits to her eligible patients. For more than three years, the administrative professionals, medical assistants, and nurses have all utilized the technical support from Queens Quits in addressing the barriers to treating patients.

The physicians and clinical staff follow up with all patients who are either referred to the Quitline or need ongoing support to prevent relapse. The continuing medical education opportunities sponsored by the New York State Tobacco Control Program and facilitated by our staff, help physicians with the techniques necessary for counseling patients and finding ways to motivate their attempts to quit smoking.

Tobacco use still remains the number one preventable cause of cancer around the world. Each year smoking causes 440,000 premature deaths in the United States.

Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of smokers want to quit, yet only seven percent are able to kick the habit on their own, long-term.

The Addabbo Family Health Center knows that their fight against smoking is not only good patient care; it's the right thing to do for all physicians.

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