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Legacy and TTAC: Making healthier living more accessible through technical assistance and training

The start: Addressing new opportunities to reduce tobacco use

In 2001, the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement made it possible for states and communities to fund comprehensive programs to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use, prevent tobacco use, and promote quitting among smokers. Recognizing the urgency for both new and established programs to demonstrate success in a short time frame, Legacy (formerly the American Legacy Foundation), American Cancer Society (ACS), and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) founded the Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium (TTAC) at Emory University. TTAC brought together subject matter experts to deliver high-quality and timely technical assistance, information, resources, and training to these newly funded local and state initiatives around the country.

A changing landscape: Hitting the nail on the head

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Legacy Board Chair, Jonathan E. Fielding presents the 2014 Emory Centers' National Partners Leadership Award to Amber T. Bullock, Executive Vice President of Program Development at Legacy on May 8, 2014; Ms. Bullock was recognized for her commitment to collaboration in the Legacy-TTAC partnership

Since the beginning of Legacy funding, TTAC has received major contracts and grants from federal, state, and local organizations to manage professional networks and online learning communities; support state and local coalition building and advocacy activities; create interactive online toolkits and resources; and onsite and distance training and technical assistance (TAT). Legacy has remained a key supporter and collaborator with TTAC since 2002 to build effective tobacco prevention and control programs and policies throughout the nation.

Amber Bullock, Legacy’s Executive Vice President of Program Development, points out a key lesson learned over the course of the Legacy-TTAC collaboration: “Knowledge without skill building produces very limited results.” In other words, knowledge and tools aren’t enough; we all know how to use a hammer in theory, but direct training and coaching from an expert with specialized skills during the first attempt and beyond are needed in order to squarely hit the nail on the head – and continue to do so as the backdrop changes. The same can be said for establishing public health programs and accelerating successes.

As TAT providers, the Emory Centers and Legacy will continue to:

  • Prioritize efforts to reach groups that are most vulnerable to tobacco use and tobacco industry targeting;
  • Strive for cultural competence in our interactions with clients and communities and in the development of services and programs;
  • Take advantage of the use of social and informational media tools to disseminate evidence on what works in tobacco control to all communities; and
  • Increase efforts to work with non-traditional public health partners in order to reach people in the places they live, work, play, and receive services in their communities.

How can training and technical assistance help you make your community healthier?

Contact the Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance to find out, or browse the Emory Centers website for tobacco control information and innovative resources that have resulted from collaborations with Legacy and other partners over the past twelve years. The following resources were developed and made freely available through support from Legacy:

Click here for a printable version of this story.


About the Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance:

Housed within the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, the Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance helps public health practitioners develop the skills, programs and policy action needed to build healthier communities and has provided capacity‐building services to community, state and national programs in all 50 states and territories since 2001.

About Legacy

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit LegacyForHealth.org.