Hospitals Helping Patients Quit (HHPQ), an initiative of the Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA), recently recognized four hospitals and two major networks of clinic partners who have achieved notable benchmarks in reducing tobacco use in Oklahoma. These leaders have made a critical commitment to improving the health and quality of life for their patients, employees, and communities by reducing Oklahoma’s leading cause of preventable death — tobacco use and its related illnesses. The hospitals and clinics have implemented a permanent and standard best-practice protocol for identifying, counseling and proactively referring individuals to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline (OTH) for coaching support and nicotine replacement therapy.

OHA celebrates these health care leaders for achieving notable benchmarks in clinical tobacco treatment:

• Integris Baptist Medical Center, Oklahoma City — 4,000 referrals

• Chickasaw Nation Medical Center and clinics, Ada — 3,000 referrals

• AllianceHealth Midwest, Midwest City — 1,000 referrals

• St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital — 500 referrals

• Mercy clinics, statewide — 2,000 referrals

Since 2010, through health care provider-driven tobacco treatment services, HHPQ partner hospitals and clinics have referred more than 24,000 patients, family members and employees to the OTH, resulting in an estimated 19,300 years of life saved and millions of dollars in reduced health care costs. It has also reduced millions of dollars in personal spending on tobacco products.

The Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) provides funding for OHA’s Hospital Helping Patients Quit and the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline.

For more information on this initiative, go to www.okoha.com/hhpq or call (405) 427-9537. For information on the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, go to http://okhelpline.com.