Division of Oral Oncology and Biobehavioral Medicine
Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences
The University of Mississippi School of Medicine
The ACT Center opened its doors in 1999. Our primary infrastructure support is provided by funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and Mississippi State Department of Health. (Previously, our support was in the form of grants from The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.) These funds are based on Mississippi's Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry, and our recent increase in cigarette excise taxes.
We have also enjoyed continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Institute of Drug Abuse), and received both investigator initiated grants and clinical trial contracts from pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline).
Karen M. Crews, DMD, Center Director, and Thomas J. Payne, PhD, Associate Center Director and Director of Clinical Research, developed Center's plan and structure, and oversee all operations. In addition to faculty, Tobacco Treatment Specialists, and administrative staff, we routinely employ and support students at various levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral fellowships.
Dr. Crews is also the Director of our new Oral Oncology Clinic, providing clinical and research services to those with head and neck cancers, as well as those with oral health considerations resulting from any cancer treatment.
- Mission. To improve the health of Mississippi youth and their families by reducing tobacco use through research, education, prevention and treatment.
- Vision. Mississippi will lead the nation in the prevention and treatment of tobacco use.
- Goal. The ACT Center will serve as a research, education, prevention and treatment resource to benefit Mississippi youth and their families.
ACT Center activities emphasize three core components:
- Treatment. The provision of state-of-the-art evidence-based treatment to help Mississippians who use tobacco to achieve long-term abstinence. To date, our funding permits the provision of these services at no cost to state residents. We strive to work in tandem with other available programs in an effort to maximize treatment impact.
- Education. Our activities include a variety of educational efforts as a means to motivating tobacco users to quit, providing healthcare professionals with the skills to promote cessation among tobacco users, and increasing to availability and accessibility of clinical services. This includes Brief Intervention and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist workshops; lectures to healthcare providers and students; presentations to businesses, organizations, and business leaders regarding service provision and tobacco treatment as a value added benefit; expert testimony to legislators and other influential groups on relevant policy; and community presentations.
- Research. Research provides the mechanism by which new knowledge is generated, ultimately advancing the quality of our clinical interventions. ACT Center faculty endorse and have established a broad research agenda, with studies addressing Basic Science (genetics, physiological mechanisms), Applied Clinical (psychological mechanisms, assessment strategies, treatment strategies, subpopulations, treatment efficacy), and Public Health (treatment program deployment, treatment efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness) considerations.
The Prevention of Cancer in Mississippi Award was presented to The ACT Center in 2006 from The Mississippi Partnership for Comprehensive Cancer Control.
The Program Delivery Award was presented to The ACT Center in 2004 from the National Chronic Disease Directors.