Leveraging Clinical and Behavioral, Biomedical and Policy Innovations to Facilitate Tobacco Treatment in Kentucky (LIFT)

Principal Investigator

Research Priority Area

  • Cancer
  • Substance Use Disorders

How to Join

The goal of Leveraging clinical, behavioral, biomedical, and policy Innovations to Facilitate Tobacco treatment in Kentucky (LIFT KY) is to create the administrative infrastructure and research-training environment to drive the growth of innovative, multidisciplinary clinical, behavioral, biomedical, and policy-related research with the aim of reducing tobacco use in rural Kentucky and beyond.

To learn more about becoming a member of the LIFT KY Alliance, please email Mai Nguyen.

Summary

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in Kentucky. Kentuckians smoke at nearly 1.5 times the rate of the general adult population, with the highest prevalence in the rural east. These alarming smoking rates are associated with higher incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.

The single greatest health behavior change that would improve health and decrease mortality in tobacco users is to quit smoking and using other tobacco products. But the usual methods for smoking cessation – pharmacological, clinical, and bio-behavioral interventions – are less successful in rural areas, in part because of a shortage of health care providers, the pressing needs of the opiate crisis, and the rise in use among young people of non-combusted forms of nicotine (i.e., e-smoking, vaping). To begin to reduce tobacco use and promote health equity requires a multi-pronged, multi-disciplinary approach aligning the skills and interests of policy researchers, researcher scientists, community leaders, and the public.

With support from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine’s Alliance Research Initiative, Leveraging clinical and behavioral, biomedical, and policy Innovations to Facilitate Tobacco treatment in Kentucky (LIFT KY) will create innovative, multidisciplinary clinical, behavioral, biomedical, and policy-related research with the aim of reducing tobacco use in rural Kentucky and beyond.

Seth Himelhoch, MD, chair, department of psychiatry, will serve as the principal investigator of the LIFT KY alliance. His research focuses on developing and studying the efficacy of innovative strategies for improving the health and welfare of people with both psychiatric and substance use disorders. His current work seeks to evaluate the most promising behavioral and pharmacologic treatments for smoking cessation among people living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Himelhoch will be responsible for the implementation of LIFT KY as well as monitoring the outcomes.

To address the complex challenge, LIFT KY is structured in four cores: Clinical/Behavioral directed by Craig Rush, PhD, professor, department of behavioral science; Biomedical/Molecular led by Tim McClintock, PhD, professor, department of physiology; Community Engagement, Policy, and Health Economics overseen by Nancy Schoenberg, PhD, professor, department of behavioral science; and Training directed by Craig Rush, PhD, professor, department of behavioral science and Mark Evers, MD, director, Markey Cancer Center. These cores provide LIFT KY the structure for developing rich linkages across the research continuum as members work towards translating bench science breakthroughs into successful clinical practices.

LIFT KY will partner with Dr. Ellen Hahn’s Bridging Research Efforts and Advocacy toward Healthy Environments (BREATHE) center to enhance their research, outreach, and policy development related to access to tobacco treatment services with Medicaid and other special populations to provide additional opportunities to network and create community collaborations.

Clinical Trials

  1. Optimizing Smoking Cessation Treatments in Smokers Living with HIV/AIDS in Nairobi, Kenya. (NCI R01 CA225419-01A1--2018-2023)

    This RCT will enable us to evaluate the most promising behavioral and pharmacologic treatments aimed at achieving maximal efficacy for smoking cessation among people living with HIV/AIDS who are in methadone maintenance and smoke in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Himelhoch, Principal Investigator

  2. Optimizing Smoking Cessation Treatments in Smokers Living with HIV/AIDS (NHLBI R01 HL136253-- 2016-2019)

    This RCT will enable us to evaluate the most promising behavioral and pharmacologic treatments aimed at achieving maximal efficacy for smoking cessation among people living with HIV/AIDS who smoke.

    Himelhoch, Principal Investigator

Alliance Members

  • Kristin Ashford, PhD, Professor – College of Nursing
  • Joe Benitez, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Public Health
  • Jessica Burris, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Arts and Sciences
  • Audrey Darville, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Nursing
  • Mark Evers, MD, Director, Markey Cancer Center – Department of Surgery
  • Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD, Assistant Professor – College of Nursing
  • Ellen Hahn, PhD, Professor – College of Nursing
  • Gopalkumar Rakesh, MD, Associate Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Seth Himelhoch, MD, MPH, Chair and Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Melinda Ickes, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Education
  • Lindsey Jasinski, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Catherine Martin, MD, Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Tim McClintock, PhD, Professor – Department of Physiology
  • Amy Meadows, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Chizimuzo “Zim” Okoli, PhD, Associate Professor – College of Nursing
  • Sarah Oros, MD, Assistant Professor – Department of Psychiatry
  • Janet Otachi, MA, Program Coordinator – College of Nursing
  • Mary Kay Rayens, PhD, Professor – College of Nursing
  • Shyanika Rose, PhD, Assistant Professor – Department of Behavioral Science
  • Craig Rush, PhD, Professor – Department of Behavioral Science
  • Nancy Schoenberg, PhD, Regular Faculty – Department of Behavioral Science
  • Teresa Waters, PhD, Chair and Endowed Professor – College of Public Health
  • Amanda Wiggins, PhD, Lecturer – College of Nursing
No