For Immediate Release
March 29, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Two Kansas Groups Earn National Health Awards

The University of Kansas Medical Center, Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Clean Air Kansas City recently earned awards presented at the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) annual meeting in Atlanta. NACDD is a public health association that provides a national forum for chronic disease prevention and control efforts.

“The fact that Kansas brought home two awards out of six presented at this national conference speaks volumes about our state’s commitment to public health,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). “Both awards were earned for efforts to encourage Kansans to become tobacco-free, which are key to the Governor’s Healthy Kansas initiative.”

Governor Kathleen Sebelius launched the Healthy Kansas initiative in 2004 to encourage Kansans to take more responsibility for improving their health. Avoiding tobacco, along with increasing levels of physical activity and eating a healthy diet, is a key component of the Governor’s initiative. Kansans can learn more online at .

KU Area Health Education Center Earns 2007 Program Delivery Award

AHEC received NACDD’s 2007 Program Delivery Award for its collaboration with the KDHE Tobacco Use Prevention Program (TUPP) in implementing the “Treating Tobacco Use During Pregnancy and Beyond” initiative. The three goals of the initiative are to educate health care providers on tobacco cessation, inform providers of the Kansas Tobacco Quitline services (1-866-KAN-STOP or 1-866-526-7867) and provide incentives to address tobacco cessation within health care practices.

So far, about 500 providers have attended TUPP training sessions. More than 100 organizations have implemented systems to enhance follow-up with patients to reduce tobacco use, and more than 1,000 tobacco users have been referred to the Kansas Quitline. Mary Beth Warren, statewide director with the University of Kansas Medical Center, accepted the award in Atlanta.

The KDHE Tobacco Use Prevention Program provides resources and technical assistance to community coalitions for development, enhancement and evaluation of state and local tobacco prevention initiatives. For additional information, please visit

Clean Air Kansas City Earns 2007 Public Policy Award

Clean Air Kansas City received NACDD’s 2007 Public Policy Award. Last year, the coalition was instrumental in achieving comprehensive clean indoor air policies in eight cities, six in Kansas and two in Missouri.  On the Kansas side of the greater Kansas City area, these cities include Mission Woods, Leawood, Olathe, Overland Park, Roeland Park and Prairie Village.  Nicole Brown, Kansas co-chair for Clean Air Kansas City, accepted the award.

Clean Air Kansas City is a bi-state, grassroots coalition of more than 300 organizations and individuals in the Kansas City metropolitan area, which encompasses more than 40 municipalities.