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Duke-UNC TTS Training to Feature Panel of National Experts in Health Equity

Did you know that there is a network of organizations supported by the CDC that is devoted to addressing cancer, tobacco, and other health-related disparities? Experts at these 8 national organizations work to "advance the prevention of commercial tobacco use and cancer in populations experiencing tobacco- and cancer-related health disparities" (

As part of our commitment to health equity, the Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program is excited to announce an expanded element in our TTS training--a panel discussion comprised of leaders from 4 of the national network organizations--that will take place during our upcoming Fall 2021 tobacco treatment specialist training. "I want our trainees to know that the National Networks that address cancer, tobacco, and other health disparities are there to help us all create a more equitable society where everyone can enjoy good health," says Sally Herndon, Duke-UNC TTS Training Program Co-Founder and Head of the North Carolina Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch.

"Much of our TTS course is focused on providing evidence-based tobacco treatment, combining counseling with FDA-approved tobacco treatment medications", Herndon continues. "We also wrap this course in population health, with an understanding of history, culture, and context to help plan and implement policy, systems, and environmental change."

"Health equity is such an important topic in all of this work. I am urging our tobacco treatment education team to continue working hard to put a sharp focus on eliminating disparities and improving health equity, both in the clinic and in the communities by approaching tobacco treatment with a health equity lens."

Duke-UNC TTS has engaged 4 leaders from the CDC's National Network consortium to participate in the panel to help our TTS trainees incorporate principles of health equity into their own tobacco treatment work. Our panelists are:

Sterling Fulton, MHA, Evaluation Director, Center for Black Health and Equity

Taslim van Hattum, LCSW, MPH, Senior Director, Practice Improvement & Consulting, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Rod Lew, MPH, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Andrew Romero, Director, Geographic Health Equity Alliance

Read more about our health equity panelists here.

Come join our Fall TTS training for the unique opportunity to learn from and interact with these leaders in health equity. Click here to learn more or to register.

About our Health Equity panelists

Rod Lew, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)

Rod Lew, MPH, is the Founder and Executive Director of APPEAL. Prior to APPEAL, Rod was the Health Education Director at Asian Health Services and the Associate Director for the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. Rod was a contributing author to the 1998 Surgeon General’s Report on Tobacco Use and has written and published widely on tobacco and health disparities. Rod provided testimony to the U.S. Congressional Committee on Commerce on the impact of national tobacco policy in 1999 and to the U.S. Surgeon General in 2004. Rod was the 2002 recipient of the Christopher Jenkins Cancer Control Award. In 2009, he also received the Lester Breslow Lifetime Achievement Award from the UCLA School of Public Health, his alma mater.

Sterling Fulton, Evaluation Director, Center for Black Health and Equity

Sterling M. Fulton, MHA is the Evaluation Director at The Center for Black Health & Equity. Prior to her position at The Center for Black Health & Equity, she served as a Program Director for NCCARE360, North Carolina’s statewide social care networking system, and Program Associate for the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund. She is a graduate of both Hampton University and The Pennsylvania State University. Sterling is the author of The Brain Trust Planner and Love in Action; Overcoming the Destructive “Isms” in Today’s Society. She is the proud mother of two Eagle Scouts. Sterling enjoys spending time with her husband and their fur-baby, a rambunctious Shorkie named Cam.

Andrew Romero, M.Ed, Director, Geographic Health Equity Alliance

Andrew joined the Community of Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) team in August 2018 as the Director of the Geographic Health Equity Alliance. Prior to CADCA, Andrew served as Director of Health Policy at the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. Andrew is passionate about giving others the tools to do their very best work. After serving as an executive of a young professional leadership and advocacy non-profit for 7 years, he likes to volunteer his time as a mentor, helping other non-profits improve through better management and leadership practices.

Taslim van Hattum, LCSW, MPH, (she, her, hers), Senior Director, Practice Improvement & Consulting, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

Experienced Director of Behavioral Health and Family Health programs with a demonstrated history of leading health equity- focused population health, practice transformation, behavioral health integration and reproductive health integration initiatives.

About Duke-UNC TTS Training Program

The Duke-UNC Tobacco Treatment Specialist Training Program trains health professionals to provide evidence-based treatment for tobacco use and dependence. The program provides an impactful educational experience for a wide variety of professionals, including clinicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, public health policy-makers, and more.

Participants in our virtual training earn up to 28.75 hours of CME credit and are prepared to pursue their National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice (formerly Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, or CTTS). Our comprehensive curriculum is provided as a dynamic and interactive virtual experience over the course of 2 weeks, with a focus on problem-based learning activities, applied practice problems, and tobacco treatment program implementation.

Visit our website at to learn more or register for a training.


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