Tribal Health Care Helps Community Members Quit Smoking

Chickasaw Nation Medical Center

Chickasaw Nation Medical Center

Published April 3, 2016

ADA, OKLAHOMA — The Chickasaw Nation Medical Center (CNMC) in Ada maintains constant efforts to address Oklahoma’s leading cause of preventable death: tobacco-related illness and disease.

According to the 2014 Oklahoma’s State of the State’s Health Report, tobacco related illness and disease kills over 6,000 Oklahomans and costs the state $1.16 billion in health care costs annually.

In 2014, the CNMC partnered with the Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) to offer the nicotine replacement therapy program to patients who wish to quit using tobacco products.

Patients referred by their inpatient or outpatient health providers are contacted by the 1-800-Quit-Now hotline for counseling support and over-the-counter medications to improve their chances of success.

Over 1,000 individuals received assistance from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline after being referred by the CNMC, according to Joy Leuthard, manager of the health improvement initiatives at OHA.

“Not only has the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center built a great model, but they are having tremendous success referring patients to receive services from the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline–which greatly increases a patient’s chances of successfully quitting,” Leuthard said.

The cooperation of the Chickasaw Nation and outside organizations ultimately results in a variety of programs and clinics offered to patients who have identified a goal to work toward a healthier lifestyle. The assistance ranges from therapy to interactions with a “quit coach” and tobacco cessation classes.

The CNMC was the first health system in Oklahoma, and among a handful of hospitals in the nation to fully integrate clinical tobacco treatment into its electronic health records system.

The health facility also adopted best practices in tobacco treatment as recommended by the OHA, Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust and Joint Commission.

For help and information contact the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, which offers phone-based support, at 800-784-8669 and online support at


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