The Tennessee Institute of Public Health in partnership with the Niswonger Foundation
and the Healthy Appalachia Institute hosted the Health Across Borders: Tobacco-Free
Youth World Café on April 22 at the Train Station in Bristol, Virginia. This event
was part of a County Health Rankings & Roadmaps project sponsored by the University
of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The keynote speaker was Jerry Spegman with the County Health Rankings Team, on the
topic of "Tobacco Prevention through Policy Change". The World Café sessions were
led by Dr. Bill Brooks from the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University.
The purpose of this joint Tennessee - Virginia project was to prioritize regional
focus on moving forward with community-based tobacco-free youth policies. Participants
included northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia multi-sector representatives from
higher education, drug coalitions, public health, healthcare, elementary and secondary
schools, non-profits, youth organizations, government and churches. A report on findings
from the sessions is forthcoming. This project was part of a series made possible
by the three-state TRIO partnership of sister institutes, including the Tennessee
Institute of Public Health, Healthy Appalachia Institute in Virginia, and the South
Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health. Leadership from all three institutes
were in attendance at the event.