By Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune Public Affairs
Angela Adams is Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune’s Tobacco Cessation Program Coordinator. Angela started at NHCL as an intern in 2014, and accepted a full-time position with the NHCL Health Promotion and Wellnesss office after graduating from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a bachelor degree in Community Health Education. (Official U.S. Navy photograph by Petty Officer Third Class William Cagle/Released)
According to the World Health Organization, tobacco use is the single greatest cause of preventable death globally. Navy Medicine recognizes its devastating effect on the health and readiness of our Navy and Marine Corps team.
No one would ever argue that quitting tobacco is a difficult process and a health crippling habit. If those desiring to quit are to be successful, they will require the very best Navy Medicine has to offer. Naval Hospital (NH) Camp Lejeune has taken long standing best practices and asked, “Is this the best we can do for our men and women in uniform? Is this helping us meet our readiness goals?” Are we equipping our military with successful tools to quit tobacco?
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune’s Tobacco Cessation Program Coordinator, Angela Adams looked at how the tobacco cessation program was working at Camp Lejeune and said, “We can do better.”
“I listened to feedback from our patients and medical providers, and felt there were barriers to educate, support and provide pharmacological therapies for our Sailors and Marines who wanted to quit tobacco,” says Adams.
The long-standing program consisted of four one-hour sessions held over the course of four weeks. After completing the four sessions, the patient would then have to make an appointment to see their primary care provider to be prescribed the appropriate medication. Finally a trip to the pharmacy to fill the prescription would complete the process. This process could take as long as five weeks, and six visits at three different locations.
The process was inconvenient and inefficient for anyone seeking help and wanted to kick their tobacco habit. “I could truly sense the frustration and realized it was time to break down the barriers for those with a desire to become tobacco-free,” exclaimed Adams.
Adams was familiar with a one-stop shop approach for tobacco cessation being utilized in Norfolk, Virginia and began steps to implement something similar at NH Camp Lejeune. Adams created a Tobacco Cessation Workshop with the collaboration of hospital providers, pharmacists and command leadership.
The ultimate goal was to consolidate all of the classroom time into one session, coordinating with a clinical pharmacist to allow same-day access to nicotine patches and gums, and same-day appointments with providers for medical therapies. Adams created a workshop that condensed five weeks and six visits to one day and two visits.
Launched in June 2016, the workshop is witnessing a significant increase in participation compared to the same time frame a year earlier. It’s too early to analyze tobacco abstinence rates for participants of the new workshop. The increased participation may mirror a corresponding increase in tobacco cessation and abstinence. The bottom line, patients’ voices matter and tobacco has a new enemy – the Health Promotion Quit Tobacco Workshop.
Individuals interested in quitting tobacco are encouraged to contact NH Camp Lejeune’s Health Promotion and Wellness Center at 910-451-3712. There are also helpful tools and resources on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/quit_smoking/.
Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune has undergone a transformation over the last several years adding new services, expanding other areas such as the emergency department, and bringing aboard key new staff that enables the hospital to provide quality care to the warfighter, their families and veterans. Through these advancements, Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune is honored to provide patient-centered care to our family of 55,000 patients. To learn more, visit us at facebook.com/NHClejeune or our website at https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nhcl/Pages/default.aspx.