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"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."
Northeast Tennessee has pregnancy smoking rates three times the national average and the fastest growing infant mortality rate in the state. Governor Bredesen has recognized this by investing considerable resources into the TIPS program. However, we need you, the healthcare provider, to make this a success.
By choosing to participate, you will be part of a pilot project that, when found effective, will be implemented state-wide (possibly a national initiative as well). Your practice will receive credit for getting the program off the ground. You will be trained in the 5 A's best practice guidelines supported by the ACOG, which allows you to learn proven skills that you can use in all areas of your practice. Your participation also allows us to gather data that will be used to help other providers implement similar interventions.
Most importantly, you will have truly made an impact on the health of this region's women and children. Obstetricians, gynecologists, and family physicians are the beginning of the solution and model of preventive care. Advising women to quit smoking and assisting them in their efforts can change their lives and the lives of those around them, particularly their children. We need the participation of obstetricians on the front-line to address this regional problem.
Our own small scale research with women in this region has shown that physicians have a large impact on the behaviors of their patients during pregnancy. You can educate these women and provide support and information as they move toward better health. You have an integral role in achieving the TIPS goal:
Improving birth outcomes in this region by decreasing rates of pregnancy smoking and smoke exposure and improving the overall health status of women in this region.