October Newsletter

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TSET October Newsletter

October 6, 2015

Western Heights Public Schools honored for work to promote health

Western Heights Picture

Pictured Above: Tracey Strader, TSET Executive Director; Sharon Howard, TSET Healthy Schools Program Manager; Joe Kitchens, Superintendent; Hayden Roberts, Director of Community Programs; and members of the Western Heights Public Schools Board of Education.

The Western Heights Public School District was presented with a $10,000 check as part of TSET’s Healthy School District Incentive Grant program.


The Healthy School District Incentive Grant criteria focus on strengthening district wellness policies to improve school nutrition, increase physical activity, and provide tobacco-free environments for students, staff, faculty and families.These health-promoting practices and policies are recommended by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Coordinated School Health Model.  

The district will use TSET funds to leverage other resources to offer afterschool programs that focus on healthy lifestyles, such as non-competitive physical education, hands-on nutrition and cooking classes, gardening and mentoring.

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline expands services

New FREE tools and resources available for tobacco users looking to quit

Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline

 The Oklahoma Tobacco Helplineprimarily funded by TSET, launched new services to provide more tools and enhanced resources to help Oklahomans quit tobacco. Now, in addition to phone and web coaching, and patches, gum and lozenges for registered participants, the Helpline has added free text and email support. These tools provide comprehensive, customizable options for Oklahomans who are considering quitting tobacco. 

TSET Board of Directors honors service of longtime board member George Foster

Foster Retirement

The TSET Board of Directors honored the service of George E. Foster, OD, at their board meeting last week.

Foster, of Park Hill, was originally appointed to the TSET Board of Directors by Speaker of the House Larry Adair in 2004 to represent the 2nd Congressional District and serve the remainder of a seven-year term. He was reappointed to the board in 2008 by House Speaker Chris Benge to serve out a full seven-year term which ended June 30, 2015.


Board of Directors welcomes new member

Bruce Benjamin

House Speaker Jeff Hickman has appointed Bruce Benjamin, PhD, of Claremore, to represent the 2nd Congressional District for a new seven-year term ending June 30, 2022.

“It is honor to be appointed to this board and represent the interests of northeastern Oklahoma,” Benjamin said. “I look forward to serving the citizens of this state and working for ways to improve the health of all Oklahomans.” 

As vice provost of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Benjamin serves in a leadership role for the graduate programs in biomedical sciences, forensic sciences, health care administration and athletic training. Benjamin is also head of the OSU Center for Wearable Electronic Sensing Systems and Technologies, an interdisciplinary team working to develop wearable smart garments for use in health and wellness.

Incentive grants for schools and communities awarded

The TSET Board of Directors approved $171,000 in incentive grants for communities and schools at their quarterly board meeting in September. Grants were awarded to two cities, four school districts and three school sites as part of the TSET Healthy Community and Healthy Schools incentive grant programs.

TSET accepts applications for the Healthy Schools and Community Incentive grant programs, as funding is available, to learn more click here

TSET Board delays making new funding commitments

The TSET Board of Directors voted to delay any new funding commitments this fiscal year at their quarterly board meeting.

Earnings from the investments in the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust decreased, like many national managed funds, due to international market volatility. Investment earnings will allow the TSET Board of Directors to meet all currently funded grants – most are multi-year grants.

TSET staff will continue to be available to discuss potential projects of prospective applicants. 

National Childhood Obesity Awareness month highlights need for healthy environments

SYF Obesity Month Image

TSET’s grants and programs work to create healthy environments and help kids develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. TSET funds incentive grants to schools and districts, supports partnerships with businesses, cities and governments, and community groups in their efforts to create environments where the healthy choice is the easy choice. TSET is also a partner in the Shape Your Future campaign that encourages Oklahomans to eat better, move more and be tobacco free. For tips on how to help Oklahoma children live healthier lives, click here

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