October Newsletter

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oklahoma tset

TSET Newsletter

October 31, 2016

TSET Grants Help Those with Behavioral Health Disorders Quit Tobacco

Did you know diseases from smoking cause about 480,000 fatalities per year in the United States alone? Almost half of these deaths occur in people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. In FY 16, nearly half of all callers to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline self-reported that they have one more mental health or substance abuse diagnoses. 

In addition to providing tools and support needed to quit tobacco through the Helpline, TSET funds a grant to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to promote tobacco-use cessation and promote tobacco-free environments among all behavioral health facilities and encourage physical activity and improved nutrition.

To learn more about TSET grants and programs that address the needs of tobacco users with a mental health disorder, click here

Ok Helpline

Three School Districts Honored for Work to Promote Health

Walk to School

Three public school districts were honored in October as part of the Healthy School District Incentive Grant (HDIG) program. To receive these grants, the districts put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff.

  • Shattuck - The Shattuck Public School district was presented with a $3,000 check and will use the grant funds for Physical Education Equipment and an anti-bullying workshop for students and staff.

  • Okeene - The Okeene Public School district received a $3,000 grant and will purchase automatic external defibrillators (AED) and supplies. AED’s are a lifesaving device in the event of sudden cardiac arrest. District officials were honored for their work on October 5, the National Walk or Bike to School Day. TSET representatives also participated in the annual event that promotes physical activity and raises awareness for the need to have walkable communities that are safe for pedestrians, especially children.

  • Central High - The Central High Public School district has chosen to use their $3,000 incentive grant to build a walking track for school and community use.

Two Communities Honored for Work to Promote Health

As part of the Healthy Communities Incentive Grants (HCIG) program, two cities were recognized for adopting policies and strategies that promote health and quality of life. HCIG awards are based on community size and level of criteria met (bronze, silver and gold).

  • Yukon - The City of Yukon was recognized for the completion of a sidewalk project that utilized TSET grant funds. In total, Yukon has received two TSET Healthy Communities Incentive grants for a total award of $100,000. The community updated sidewalks and crosswalks at three elementary schools and two middle schools. These improvements ensure that students have safe areas for physical activity and for walking and biking to and from school. The sidewalks also increase access to businesses in that area.

  • Okmulgee - The City of Okmulgee was honored for its efforts to improve health. Okmulgee has received two Healthy Community Incentive Grant awards for a total of $50,000. The first grant was a $13,000 awarded in 2012 and grant funds were used for a community garden and recreational trail project. A second $37,000 grant was used for architectural design and planning services for a trail system. Okmulgee leveraged TSET funds and received additional funding through a federal trail grant administered by the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. 

HCIG Yukon

Pictured from left to right: Michael McEachern, Yukon City Council, ​Vice Mayor & Council Member for Ward 4; Earlene Smaistrla, Yukon City Council, Council Member at Large; Donna Yanda, Yukon City Council, Council Member for Ward 3; Tracey Strader, TSET Executive Director.

TSET Incentive Grants Assist in Equipping Schools with AEDs

October is National Sudden Cardiac Awareness Month, which is dedicated to educating the public about what sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is and how to respond to cardiac arrest. An automatic external defibrillator (AED) can help save lives during a sudden cardiac arrest event.


Through the TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grant Program, ten school districts have purchased AED machines for their facilities. AED's cost an average of $1,500, and incentive grants help schools purchase this lifesaving equipment.


SCA is when the heart suddenly stops beating, resulting in no blood flow to the brain and other vital organs and can occur in people of all ages with or without heart disease. Immediate recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of emergency responses such as CPR or using an AED can save a life, according to the American Heart Association.

A 2008 state law requires schools to have AED's, but additional state funding has not been allocated to purchase the machines. Many school districts have opted to use TSET grant funds to equip their school buildings with AED's.

School sites and districts that have been designated as Certified Healthy are eligible to apply for a TSET Healthy Schools Incentive Grant. The grants encourage schools to implement policies and strategies that improve the health of students, teachers, and staff. If a grant is awarded, school officials decide what sort of health improvement project they will pay for with grant funds. 


TSET is devoted to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease, Oklahoma's leading causes of death. TSET is helping to contribute to heart health through multiple grant programs. Our Healthy Living Program grants are designed to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease by preventing and reducing tobacco use and obesity on a local level by working with in communities to create opportunities for health. We also address Oklahoma's leading causes of death through Health Systems Initiative grants, research, and health communication interventions, as customized public health education interventions are one of the most effective strategies for promoting health behaviors. 

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