Office Champions 2013 Results Show Continued Impact on Treating Tobacco Dependence

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6052

LEAWOOD, Kan. —— Year-end results from the American Academy of Family Physician’s Office Champions program show that the initiative continues to boost tobacco cessation activities across the country.

Starting as a pilot project in 2011, in 2013 Office Champions provided 22 family medicine practices designated as Federally Qualified Health Centers with tools and training to incorporate systems changes on treating tobacco dependence into their daily interactions with patients and staff.

“We’ve found that if you can just get people to ask about tobacco cessation, they are increasingly likely to work toward quitting,” said Julie Wood, MD, vice president of health of the public and science. “Office Champions has proven to be an effective approach.”

Federally Qualified Health Centers are non-profit entities that provide access to care in underserved areas. FQHCs tend to serve populations with high rates of tobacco use, which places them in a unique position to impact patient health. Through Office Champions, the practices implemented  systems changes that ensured clinicians identified every tobacco-using patient, advised them to quit and offered evidence-based treatment.

The results of the 2013 project revealed a dramatic increase in the documentation of patients who were offered tobacco cessation assistance. Additional highlights include:

  • All 22 participating practices finished the project for a 100 percent completion rate.
  • Pre- and post-project review revealed a 5.49 percent increase over baseline for tobacco status documentation and 48.1 percent increase over baseline for cessation assistance documentation.
  • Results demonstrated that the Office Champions model is critical in assisting practices in making system changes to integrate tobacco cessation activities into office routines.
  • More than 91 percent of participating practices expressed confidence in the sustainability of the system changes implemented through this project.

“The data are clear that Office Champions helps participating clinics identify more tobacco users and offer health interventions,” said Folashade Omole, MD, chair of the AAFP’s Tobacco Cessation Advisory Committee. “These are the first steps toward helping patients quit, thus changing their lives.”

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website,