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ClearWay Minnesota(SM) Board Approves $1.4 Million in New Grants to Reduce Tobacco's Harm

Board welcomes the Honorable Sheryl Ramstad, Christopher Georgacas and Mark

Mishek as its newest members

MINNEAPOLIS, May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- At its Board Meeting earlier today, the Board of Directors of ClearWay Minnesota(SM) approved $1.4 million in new grants to expand QUITPLAN(R) Services, to fund additional research projects and to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke by advancing smoke-free policy efforts in tribal communities. The Board also welcomed three new Board Members, the Honorable Sheryl Ramstad, Christopher Georgacas and Mark Mishek.

"These new grants reflect ClearWay Minnesota's goals of helping more Minnesotans quit, advancing research and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke," said David Willoughby, ClearWay Minnesota's Chief Executive Officer. "We are also excited to welcome three excellent new Board Members."

Expanding QUITPLAN(R) Services

QUITPLAN Centers provide free face-to-face counseling to any Minnesotan who wants help to quit smoking. Two new grants will add additional QUITPLAN Centers in St. Paul and St. Cloud. Grants were awarded to Open Cities Health Center of St. Paul and CentraCare Health Foundation of St. Cloud. Each group was awarded $220,000 for two years. These two new centers will complement existing QUITPLAN Centers in Minneapolis, Willmar, Thief River Falls and Duluth.

Advancing Research

ClearWay Minnesota awards competitive research grants to advance knowledge about reducing the harm of tobacco within Minnesota. Research grants were awarded for two projects to increase cessation efforts within the organized labor and Twin Cities American Indian communities.

-- A grant in the amount of $516,138 for three years was awarded to the

Tobacco Law Center -- in collaboration with the University of

Minnesota, UNITE HERE MN, UFCW Local 789, and the Laborers' District

Council of Minnesota and North Dakota and the Minnesota Laborers Health

and Welfare Fund -- to test the effects of increased cessation coverage

for unionized workers and their families.

-- A grant in the amount of $129,165 for 18 months was awarded to the

University of Minnesota School of Public Health, in collaboration with

the American Indian Policy Center, to use the community health worker

model for engaging elders to address recreational smoking in the Twin

Cities American Indian community.

Reducing Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

ClearWay Minnesota is committed to protecting people from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Two new grants were awarded to the Bois Forte Band of Minnesota Chippewa* and to the Health Division of the White Earth Reservation Tribal Council, to educate community members and tribal leadership about the harm of commercial tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. The overall goal of these grants will be to advance smoke-free tribal policies. Each tribal community was awarded a grant of up to $150,000 for one year.

Detailed information about these grant awards is available at

* Bois Forte Band of Minnesota Chippewa Grant approved at March 2008

ClearWay Minnesota Board meeting

Welcoming New Board Members

The May 21 Board Meeting also saw the introduction of three new Board Members:

-- The Honorable Sheryl Ramstad, Minnesota Tax Court Judge and former

Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Judge Ramstad

was elected as an at-large member of the Board, and her term expires on

September 29, 2010.

-- Christopher Georgacas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Goff &

Howard, Inc., a public affairs and public relations firm in Saint Paul.

Mr. Georgacas was appointed to the Board by Governor Tim Pawlenty in

April, and his term expires on September 28, 2010.

-- Mark Mishek, President of United Hospital, a 425-bed acute care

hospital located in St. Paul; United is part of Allina Hospitals and

Clinics. Mr. Mishek was elected as an at-large Board Member, and his

term expires September 28, 2009.

ClearWay Minnesota(SM) is an independent, non-profit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN(R) Services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement.

For more information on QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit

SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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