Heart and Soul Clinic Free Clinic to host Baby & Me Tobacco Free classes

Written by: Jim Brownell Posted on: April 27, 2016 Blog: News

Holly Wheeler
Partnership for a Healthy Hamilton County


Heart and Soul Clinic Free Clinic to host Baby & Me Tobacco Free classes

Westfield, Indiana – Heart and Soul Clinic, Partnership for a Healthy Hamilton County (PHHC) and Healthy Communities of Clinton County (HCCC) have partnered to offer Baby & Me Tobacco Free (BMTF), a program funded by the Indiana State Department of Health to assist pregnant women in smoking cessation. Participants who complete four classes and remain smoke-free are eligible for $25 in diaper vouchers for up to 12 months.

“We are excited to help pregnant women break their addiction to tobacco so both they and their children can lead healthier lives,” said Heather Brownell, executive director of Heart and Soul Clinic Free Clinic. “This fits perfectly with Heart and Soul’s mission to provide quality healthcare to residents of Hamilton County and beyond.”

Components of the Baby & Me Tobacco Free program are a commitment to become a non-smoker while pregnant and after delivery, program enrollment, attendance at four prenatal smoking cessation classes which include education about Indiana’s Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QuitNow, and passing a breath test for up to 12 months after the baby is born. Participants will receive incentives at every class, including $10 gas cards at the first and fourth classes, a diaper bag, cleaning supplies and more. After successful completion of the program, participants who remain smoke-free receive $25 in diaper vouchers monthly, which are redeemable at CVS Pharmacy and Walmart. Women who deliver twins or multiples are eligible for vouchers in the same amount for each child.

Classes will be the first Tuesday of the month, 1 p.m., and the third Tuesday of the month, 11 a.m., at 202 West Penn Street, Westfield, Indiana, 46074. Those with questions or who are interested in registering can call 765-659-6063. Classes also are held at Hamilton County WIC, 942 North 10th Street, Noblesville, first Tuesday of the month at 11 a.m., and the third Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m.

The classes came to Heart and Soul through a partnership between HCCC and PHHC. Both counties hold ISDH Tobacco Prevention & Cessation grant funding, which promotes Indiana’s Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QuitNow. HCCC also has grant funding for Baby & Me Tobacco Free and is encouraged to share the program with surrounding counties.

“As counties we share the same goals of smoking cessation and Quitline promotion, and offering BMTF furthers both of those goals in a targeted, high-risk group,” said Kathy Martin, tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator and BMTF administrator for HCCC, who will teach the classes. “We want all babies to be born healthy and on time and are happy to collaborate in order to do so.”

“BMTF broadens PHHC’s reach in a critical component of its tobacco prevention and cessation program by offering cessation services to a population in which smoking endangers not just one, but two, people,” said Holly Wheeler, assistant director, PHHC, and tobacco prevention and cessation coordinator for the county. “It’s all about decreasing smoking rates, and helping pregnant moms and their babies do so just makes sense.”

The BMTF program is available to other residents and caregivers to whom the pregnant mother and baby will be exposed before and after delivery. The child’s father or other regular caregiver, such as a grandparent, who complete BMTF classes, quit smoking and pass monthly breath tests, also are eligible for monthly $25 diaper vouchers.

All BMTF participants are encouraged to use Indiana’s free, phone-based tobacco cessation service, 1-800-QuitNow. Further information about the service can be found at www.indianaquitline.net.

The Partnership for a Healthy Hamilton County was created to respond to the county’s primary health needs as identified by a Community Health Needs Assessment, an Internal Revenue Service requirement for not-for-profit hospitals (cdc.gov/policy/chna/), conducted by five central-Indiana hospitals. The organization received funding from the Indiana State Department of Health in 2015 to manage tobacco prevention and cessation activities for the county. For further information, log on to hamiltoncountyPHHC.com, Facebook or Twitter.

Healthy Communities of Clinton County runs the Baby and Me Tobacco Free Program in Clinton, Tippecanoe, and Hamilton Counties. The Baby and Me Tobacco Free Program is a smoking cessation program created to reduce the burden of tobacco use on the pregnant and post-partum population. The Baby and Me Program seeks to accomplish this mission by addressing the high prevalence of smoking among young women during pregnancy by providing counseling support and resources. The program is successful in helping women quit smoking and stay quit, resulting in improved birth outcomes and long-term positive outcomes for women, children, and their families. For more information, visit www.babyandmetobaccofree.org or www.healthyclintoncounty.org.

Founded in 2009, Heart and Soul Free Clinic, Inc., is a 501c3 faith-based, nondenominational free health clinic. The Heart and Soul Free Clinic provides free non-emergency health care for individuals without insurance or who are underinsured in Hamilton County and the surrounding areas. All services are provided without consideration of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation. All medical services are provided by volunteers. For more information, log on to www.heartandsoulclinic.org.