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LSU Health Tobacco Control Initiative Staff Certified as Specialists

In the front, left to right, Michael Celestin, Debbie Durapau, Wendy Theriot and Nakesha Auguster. In the back, left to right, Krysten Jones, Lucretia Young, JoAnn Brooks and Dr. Sarah Moody-Thomas.  Betty Henry McFarland, with TCI, is not shown.
In the front, left to right, Michael Celestin, Debbie Durapau, Wendy Theriot and Nakesha Auguster. In the back, left to right, Krysten Jones, Lucretia Young, JoAnn Brooks and Dr. Sarah Moody-Thomas. Betty Henry McFarland, with TCI, is not shown.

Baton Rouge Eight staff members of the LSU Health Tobacco Control Initiative (TCI) have completed tobacco treatment training and have earned certification as tobacco treatment specialists (TTS) through the Florida Certification Board, a nationally recognized, nonprofit, professional credentialing organization. Certification allows specialists to provide treatment and to educate healthcare professionals and administrators about tobacco dependence treatments. The Association for Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) defines certification competencies.

To earn certification, staff completed a 40-hour training program of the Florida State University Area Health Education Center (FSU AHEC). Twenty-four hours of the training was in Tallahassee. Sixteen hours of it was online. FSU AHEC is a member of ATTUD. Training topics included health education for adults, treatment planning and counseling, evidence-based assessment and referral for services and professional responsibility. Training complemented staff's existing skill set for providing effective, evidence-based interventions for those who use tobacco products.

Each LSU hospital has a tobacco team and a physician champion who works closely with the onsite TCI staff.

"The close interaction of our specialists with the staff of each hospital permits us to provide comprehensive services to inpatients, outpatients, employees and the local community," said Dr. Sarah Moody-Thomas, Statewide Clinical Lead for the LSU Health Tobacco Control Initiative and Professor in the Behavioral and Community Health Sciences Program of the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health. "Our staff earning certification illustrates our commitment to the consistent delivery of the highest level of care according to nationally accepted, evidence-based standards."

The LSU TCI is a multidisciplinary program promoting systems change to address tobacco use in healthcare settings and providing smoking cessation treatment services to all Louisiana public hospital patients, employees and the communities they serve. These free or low-cost services include cessation medication, group behavioral counseling, access to telephone counseling and bedside consultations for inpatients.

The following have earned TTS certification:

  • Nakesha Auguster, BA, Participant Recruiter for Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge and University Medical Center in Lafayette.
  • JoAnn Brooks, MA, Cessation Specialist for W.O. Moss Regional Medical Center in Lake Charles and Huey P. Long Medical Center in Pineville.
  • Michael Celestin, MA, CHES, Program Manager for TCI headquarters in New Orleans.
  • Deborah Durapau, MS, Cessation Specialist for Bogalusa Medical Center in Bogalusa and Lallie Kemp Medical Center in Independence.
  • Betty Henry-McFarland, MA, Participant Recruiter for E.A. Conway Medical Center in Monroe and LSU Medical Center in Shreveport.
  • Krysten Jones, MPH, CHES, Manager of Implementation, Data, and Evaluation for TCI headquarters serving New Orleans and Shreveport.
  • Wendy Theriot, BA, Cessation Specialist for Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma.
  • Lucretia Young, MA, Cessation Specialist for Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans.

Visit www.attud.org/tts.php for more information on TTS training.