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Prior Work

Between 2018 and 2022, Interact for Health focused on three strategic priorities: reducing tobacco use, addressing the opioid epidemic and ensuring that children have access to health care through school-based health centers. 

Jump to: Reducing Tobacco Use • School-Based Health Centers • Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Reducing Tobacco Use 

Expanding on work started in 2014, between 2018 and 2022 Interact for Health invested $6.1 million to tackle tobacco use from multiple angles, including policy efforts, innovation to reduce tobacco disparities, marketing and community relations campaigns and collecting and sharing data through the Greater Cincinnati Adult Tobacco Survey

Over 126,000 additional people in the region are now covered by model tobacco policies because of our partners’ efforts. These include raising the minimum age of sale of tobacco to 21 in Cincinnati, smoke-free workplace laws in Williamstown and Dayton, Kentucky, and tobacco retail licensing in Norwood, Hamilton and Middletown, Ohio. We partnered with the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation to develop a Tobacco Retail License policy toolkit to provide resources and best practice methods to support local efforts to develop Tobacco Retail Licensing programs.     

We invested in marketing and education through Quit Culture, a community-driven movement to change the culture around smoking in Greater Cincinnati’s Black communities. The campaign resulted in 12.5 million impressions and hundreds of people participated in the Smoke Break Challenge or used the campaign’s cessation app.  

School-Based Health Centers

Since 1997, Interact for Health worked to expand access to health care for children through school-based health centers. If children are bothered by tooth decay, poor vision or untreated asthma, they won’t be able to reach their full potential in the classroom. SBHCs have been shown to improve not only students’ health, but also their academic performance.

Between 2018 and 2022, Interact for Health invested $6.6 million to open 13 new SBHCs for a total of 43 centers. Eight of the new centers are hubs offering primary, behavioral, dental and vision care not only to students and school employees but to members of the whole community. During this time, we expanded the reach of SBHCs beyond Cincinnati and Hamilton County opening suburban and rural centers in Brown, Clermont and Warren counties in Ohio, Switzerland County in Indiana and Bracken County in Kentucky.

Between 2017 and 2022, the number of patients at Interact for Health-funded SBHCs more than doubled from, 16,000 to 33,000. Visits increased 26% from 42,000 to 53,000. The percentage of children with an up-to-date well-child check increased by 21% and the percentage of children screened for depression increased by 175%. See more data in this infographic.

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic has had a disproportionate impact in Greater Cincinnati. Starting in 2008, just before the rapid increase in overdose deaths involving heroin, Interact for Health emphasized addressing opioid use disorder. Between 2018 and 2022, Interact for Health invested $5.6 million in harm reduction, treatment and recovery service strategies.

Interact for Health continued supporting syringe services programs, pioneered harm reduction supply dispensing machines, funded 120 community overdose first aid boxes and distributed 60,000 doses of overdose reversal drug naloxone. We supported quick response teams, which provide an integrated response to help connect people who overdose with treatment and recovery services. We created a stigma-reduction toolkit that was requested by 69 community partners in 16 states and four countries.

Interact for Health partnered with Miami University to study the area’s recovery housing, an intervention that brings together housing with peer-to-peer support to facilitate long-term recovery. Ten new recovery housing programs were funded.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though Greater Cincinnati still lags behind the nation in rate of overdose deaths, the region has seen a 14% decrease in overdose deaths since 2017 while the nation has seen a 30% increase.

Interact for Health was a contributor to the Funders Response to the Heroin Epidemic, a collaborative regional group of public and private funders that provided financial resources and strategic support to strengthen local communities' response to the opioid epidemic. Download the FRHE Summary Report

Policy position statements

Through the years, Interact for Health's board of directors has adopted and issued position statements about policies related to its priority areas. Here are some of our past position statements.