The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society Med Journal June 2019 Final - Page 4

COMMENTARY Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, MPH David Wroten Executive Vice President Be Well Arkansas I n Arkansas, our leading causes of death include heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. These diseases negatively impact the health of our fellow Arkansans beyond just death alone. They result in significant disability and reduced quality of life due to complications. More than 86% of the nation’s health care costs are associated with these chronic diseases, and most of the costs are preventable. Behaviors such as tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet contribute to these conditions that directly impact the health of our state. While tobacco use decreased in Arkansas over the past few decades, Arkansas still ranks third in the nation with a high prevalence of ciga- rette smoking. Additionally, the increasing use by Arkansans of newer tobacco products, such as vapes and e-cigarettes is posing a challenge to our tobacco prevention and control efforts. In addition to tobacco-use cessation, engaging in healthy eating and increasing physical activity can pave the way for decreasing the burden due to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes in the state. Making these healthy choices and refraining from risky behaviors can be a challenge at every stage of life in today’s culture. The good news is that many of these dis- eases and behaviors can be managed, or even prevented, with access to the right resources. The Arkansas Department of Health recently launched Be Well Arkansas, a new campaign to enhance tobacco cessation services and pro- vide Arkansans with resources to improve their health and well-being. With Be Well Arkansas, the Department has staff serving as wellness counselors, answering calls from Arkansans who are interested in improving their health. These counselors are MD Anderson-trained to- bacco treatment specialists (TTS) that are able to provide over-the-phone tobacco and nicotine cessation services. In addition, they provide wellness counseling for diabetes management and blood pressure control. Wellness counselors are also able to con- nect people to in-person counseling if available in their community. They also direct callers to online and text resources and services that may be available to them through their insurance plans, if they have insurance. In brief: » » Through Be Well Arkansas, Arkansans can receive tobacco and nicotine cessation services to help them quit using tobacco and vape products. Eligible callers may receive nicotine replacement therapy. Penny Henderson Executive Assistant Journal Advertising Nicole Richards Managing Editor Jeremy Henderson Art Director EDITORIAL BOARD Appathurai Balamurugan, MD, DrPH, MPH Family & Preventative Medicine/Public Health Tim Paden, MD Family Medicine Sandra Johnson, MD Dermatology Issam Makhoul, MD Oncology Naveen Patil, MD, MHSA, MA, FIDSA Internal Medicine/Infectious Disease » » Be Well Arkansas offers more than cessation services; it links people to diabetes management and hypertension control resources. Benjamin Tharian, MD, MRCP, FACP, FRACP Gastroenterologist/Hepatologist » » The toll-free phone number that patients can call is 1-833-283-WELL. Also, if people call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW, the national tobacco quit line number, they will now be routed to Be Well Arkansas. Call is answered during normal business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Calls received after hours will receive a call back within one business day. Tobias Vancil, MD Internal Medicine » » There is a new website, www.bewellarkansas. org, that has updated resources for patients and providers, and an online chat component for cessation services. » » Be Well Arkansas offers local, in-person cessation counseling as an option for patients. » » ADH Local Health Unit staff across the state has received TTS training to provide these cessa- tion services. » » Be Well Arkansas has a cessation texting ser- vice with advice and tips and an app for 24/7 support. The ADH is excited to link our services together to provide enhanced wellness resources for our fellow Arkansans! 268 • THE JOURNAL OF THE ARKANSAS MEDICAL SOCIETY Robert Zimmerman, MD Urology Darrell Over, MD Family Medicine EDITOR EMERITUS Alfred Kahn Jr., MD (1916-2013) ARKANSAS MEDICAL SOCIETY 2018-2019 OFFICERS Dennis Yelvington, MD, Stuttgart President Lee Archer, MD, Little Rock Immediate Past President Chad Rodgers, MD, Little Rock President Elect Seth Barnes, MD, Hot Springs Vice President George Conner, MD, Forrest City Secretary Bradley Bibb, MD, Jonesboro Treasurer Danny Wilkerson, MD, Little Rock Chairman of the Board of Trustees VOLUME 115