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SAULT STE MARIE, MICHIGAN - The Chippewa County Health Department and the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians were among the recipients of Michigan Cancer Consortium Spirit of Collaboration Award through their collaborative work on the Michigan Smoke-Free Housing Project.
In April of 2010, the Sault Tribe became the first Tribe in Michigan to adopt a smoke-free housing policy for designated housing units.
Each year since 2001, the Michigan Cancer Consortium has presented its highest honor - the Spirit of Collaboration Award - to member organizations that have done outstanding collaborative work to significantly move comprehensive cancer control activities forward in our state.
The other partners in the project receiving the honor include the Center for Social Gerontology's Smoke-Free Environments Law Project, South Eastern Michigan Indians, Inc., Dickinson-Iron District Health Department, Genesee County Health Department, Ingham County Health Department, Marquette County Health Department, Muskegon County Health Department, Public Health Delta-Menominee, Washtenaw County Health Department, and Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.
Media efforts resulted in 7,299 general smoke-free housing television, radio, and print ads run since March 1, 2010, and 4,632 tribal-specific commercial tobacco smoke-free housing ads run during this same time period. The project partners have presented at a large number of landlord meetings, property management association meetings and conferences, seminars and other property-specific presentations, and tenant surveys have been conducted assisting landlords in moving their property to smoke-free status.
Partners make regular referrals to Smoke-Free Environments Law Project for legal assistance and expert direction, and Smoke-Free Environments Law Project in return puts property owners and tenants in touch with local contacts through the various partnerships. This collaborative relationship is unique and has yielded excellent public health improvements in housing in Michigan, especially for low income residents.
"This is a great honor, and we're pleased to be a part of such a collaborative team," stated Julie Trotter, Tobacco-Free Projects Coordinator of the Chippewa County Health Department and Donna Norkoli, Sault Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health Project Coordinator.
"As a partnership between the Chippewa County Tobacco-Free Living Coalition and the Sault Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health Project, we've worked together on the smoke-free housing initiative since 2004 and have been making significant progress on this public health initiative. With the support of our current funding, in addition to our education and awareness efforts, we've assisted the Sault Tribe Housing Authority and Park Place City Center management with smoke-free housing policies for their properties.
The Sault Ste Marie Housing Commission had adopted a smoke-free policy for three of their apartment buildings for seniors and the disabled in December of 2006 - the first Housing Commission in the UP to do so.
"This is a vital project because it provides healthy homes for residents in our community, and it makes great business sense for property owners," continued Trotter. "We continue to be available to property owners, managers, and tenants of multi-unit housing in our community, and we look forward to assisting additional properties with going smoke-free."
posted December 6, 2011 6:00 am est
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