April 2020 Newsletter

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

TSET Newsletter Header

April Newsletter

April 29, 2020


One of the pieces of equipment in Chris Sansam's lab, called a LightCycler, is being used to help with a global pandemic. Sansam says he is not involved in the COVID-19 research, yet is glad to play a small role.

TSET Helps Research Connections Happen

Research infrastructure in Oklahoma, supported in part by Oklahoma’s Tobacco Endowment Settlement Trust, is uniquely positioned to assist in helping the scientific community learn more about the coronavirus. An example of that collaboration is found in the laboratory of Chris Sansam, Ph.D., a scientist at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. Sansam was awarded TSET funding in 2015 to buy machinery that allows him to study how adult stem cells can help treat disease related to tobacco.

Five years later, that equipment is helping with a global pandemic – specifically in Oklahoma. The machinery is a DNA processor called a LightCycler. Sansam’s colleagues needed the LightCycler to boost testing capacity in Oklahoma for the coronavirus. Sansam stresses he is not currently involved in COVID-19 research in Oklahoma, however, he notes he is glad to play a small role. Read more.


Episode 2 of the TSET Better Health podcast looks at maintaining your health under extraordinary circumstances and discusses local resources available during challenging times.

Podcast Explores Better Health During Pandemic

A new episode of the TSET Better Health podcast offers Oklahomans a wealth of information, tips and resources about COVID-19. Episode 2 looks at maintaining your health under extraordinary circumstances and discusses local resources available to help in challenging times. TSET staff members James Tyree and Cate Howell serve as hosts. Stream it now from tset.ok.gov/podcast or listen from your favorite podcast app.


TSET has created a 20-minute video for educators to upload to teaching portals and share with their students.

A Video Especially for Health Educators

Health education teachers and physical education teachers are natural advocates for a healthy future. So when Rachelle Franz, Ph.D., a kinesiology and health studies professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, asked Julie Bisbee, TSET’s executive director, to speak with her class, Bisbee didn’t hesitate.

Bisbee originally was slated to talk with students in person, however, that changed due to the coronavirus. TSET quickly adapted and created a 20-minute video for Franz to upload to her teaching portal to share with students. The video includes a 10-minute section about how and why TSET was created in the state of Oklahoma. Bisbee also discusses the many programs that TSET funds including the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline, Tobacco Stops With Me, Shape Your Future and Healthy Incentive Grants for schools and communities.

The video now is available to all health educators. If you would like a copy to share with your students, contact Lorene Roberson, TSET public information specialist, at lorener@tset.ok.gov or 405-658-8634.

update JB

In the Outlook section of The Oklahoman, a sampling of women who work in the health care industry in the Oklahoma City area were recognized. Julie Bisbee, TSET executive director, was one of the individuals featured.

A Life Dedicated to Public Service

On April 19, The Oklahoman recognized women from across from the state who work in the health care industry. Julie Bisbee, TSET’s executive director, was one of the women selected to be profiled in a 12-page supplement titled “Outlook 2020: 21st Century Women.”

“Knowing who you are is real important. For me, it's about public service. It always has been,” Bisbee said. Read more.


Big Tobacco has spent billions targeting minority groups including the military market. TSET recently earned regional recognition for its efforts to connect with these markets.

TSET Honored with District ADDY Award

TSET recently was recognized for its Tobacco Stops With Me “Big Tobacco Targets” campaign by the Tenth District of the American Advertising Federation, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. TSET was awarded a Bronze ADDY Award for its efforts. View on YouTube.

The American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) in Oklahoma City is a precursor to the district event. TSET health communication programs received 13 ADDYs at the awards ceremony earlier this year.