A coalition of nine organizations recently received a $12.5 million grant from Pfizer to develop a CME program on tobacco cessation that's expected to reach more than 600,000 doctors over three years.

The initiative — called Continuing Education Aimed at Smoking Elimination (CEASE) — is a collaboration among the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, California Academy for Family Physicians, Interstate Postgraduate Medical Association, Iowa Foundation for Medical Care, CME Enterprise, Healthcare Performance Consulting, Physicians Institute for Excellence in Medicine at the Medical Association of Georgia, University of Virginia School of Medicine, and the Purdue University School of Pharmacy.

The CME content will be based on new tobacco-cessation guidelines drafted by the Center For Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin, which wrote the guidelines the last time they were updated in 2000. The new guidelines have been submitted by CTRI to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and are expected to be approved in April.

A key component of CEASE will be “serial education,” explains one of the initiative's architects, George Mejicano, MD, associate dean for continuing professional development at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “The idea is to touch multiple clinicians, multiple times for several years to reinforce what they've learned,” he says. Activities will be delivered through hundreds of national and regional meetings, television, and the Internet. The program will aim to measure Level 6 outcomes — the effect on population health. Look for more on the initiative in future issues of MM.