First cohort of Tobacco Treatment Specialists trained online help bring more resources to quit tobacco to their communities

September 4, 2018

Recently, the ANTHC Tobacco Prevention Program graduated its first cohort of the Online Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training, hosted on ANTHC’s Distance Learning Network. The ANTHC Tobacco Prevention Program worked with our Tribal health partners to offer the online training to reduce the time and cost necessary to participate. The training teaches health care professionals the necessary skills to provide effective, evidence-based interventions for individuals who are ready to quit using tobacco. “If you can help even one person quit tobacco, you might save one life,” says Brent Guard, Behavioral Health Aide with Kodiak Area Native Association and a member of the initial online cohort. “For people that are in a position to help someone quit, I’d say go for it. The training helped me understand the effects of tobacco on your body in a way that I could share with someone who wants to quit.” Guard is one of approximately 400 health care professionals from across Alaska that have become Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists since the training was first offered. All participants who complete the training have the skill set to go back to their clinics and home communities to offer direct treatment for tobacco cessation to patients and community members. ANTHC started offering the training in the fall of 2006 as an in-person, week-long session in Anchorage when the Alaska Native Health Campus became tobacco free. Making the training available online will allow more participants to take the course, especially those who cannot leave their positions for up to a week or who live off of the road system. It will also allow for more training access year round, rather than once a year. The online course contains eight modules, which participants complete at their own pace within an eight week period and participants are eligible to apply for continuing medical education and continuing nursing education credits. Future online courses will be scheduled soon. To sign up for more information on the course, contact the Tobacco Prevention Program staff at The next in-person tobacco treatment specialist training will be held Sept. 24-28 in Anchorage. Spaces are still available. To register, please contact Crystal Meade, ANTHC Program Manager, at (907) 729-2416 or Learn more about the ANTHC Tobacco Prevention Program at

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