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Local Organizations Collaborate to Implement Health Equity Initiatives in Tuscarawas County

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(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – The Empower Tusc Coalition and Ohio Guidestone are partnering with the Tuscarawas County Health Department to implement health equity initiatives in the southern portion of Tuscarawas County.

These efforts will prioritize the Twin Cities and Newcomerstown areas. The initiatives for 2023, which have been created based on a five-year strategic plan format, include youth education on the harms associated with vaping through the Think Fast Interactive assembly; parent education through mass media campaigns; and staff education through the American Academy of Pediatrics Ask, Counsel, and Treat (ACT) training. 

Think Fast Interactive is an evidence informed prevention intervention that uses active learning to connect young people with factual, relevant information related to various personal health and safety issues. 

Free, confidential quit support through the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line (for those over 18) and My Life My Quit (for youth under 18) will be promoted throughout the region as part of this initiative via radio, social media, and in-person events. 

“The Tuscarawas County Health Department, in collaboration with Ohio Guidestone and Empower Tusc, wants to increase our efforts in the 922 region and Newcomerstown to improve access to education, resources, and support related to nicotine addiction,” explained Katelyn Gorius, Public Health Educator and Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation Grant Coordinator at the Tuscarawas County Health Department. 

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. About 480,000 Americans die each year due to a smoking related illness, which accounts for nearly 1 in 5 deaths each year. 

“Knowledge truly is power and when we can connect our young people with factual information we are providing them with the knowledge to make healthy decisions,” added Empower Tusc Coalition Coordinator, Jodi Salvo.

According to the Ohio Cancer Incidence Surveillance System (OCISS), from 2014-2018 the leading type of cancer for new invasive cancer cases in Tuscarawas County was lung and bronchus cancer at 15.1%. OCISS also reported from 2014-2018 the leading type of cancer mortality in Tuscarawas County was lung and bronchus at 27.5%.

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