Quitlines and Behavioral Health: The Hidden Resource


90 Minutes

Webinar Speakers

Linda A. Bailey, JD, MHS

President and CEO, North American Quitline Consortium

Linda Bailey, JD, MHS, is founder and CEO of the North American Quitline Consortium. The Consortium is a membership organization that aims to maximize the access, use and effectiveness of quitlines in the U.S. and Canada.

Linda has a notable career in public health as an attorney, educator, and epidemiologist and a strong professional interest in influencing the development of science-based policies that promote health. Her past positions have included director, Center for Tobacco Cessation at the American Cancer Society, associate director for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health in Washington, D.C. (US DHHS), senior advisor on health promotion and disease prevention at the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (US DHHS), study director at the Institute of Medicine, and epidemiologist at the Houston Health Department. She was also a faculty member at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Maryland School of Law. Linda holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law.

Etta Short, MS

Director, Clinical Development and Support, Optum

Etta Short is a Public Health professional with over 25 years of experience managing behavior change and health promotion programs in clinical, government, non-profit and corporate settings. Etta joined Optum (Quit for Life Program) in 2005 to establish a Quit Coaching training program. She has been in her current role, Director of Clinical Development and Support since 2013. In this role, Etta provides oversight, expertise and leadership for the development of behavior change aspects of Quit for Life live and digital coaching programs.

Ms. Short published articles on cultural competency in the health care settings and co-authored three training manuals for the World Health Organization (WHO), including “Training for Quit line Tobacco Treatment Specialist: Telephone Counseling.” She provided consulting services for WHO delivering Tobacco Cessation Counselor training in China, UAE and Turkey.

Ms. Short earned a BA in English Literature from University of California at Los Angeles, an MS in Health Education from the University of Washington and she is a graduate of the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute.

Robert Vargas, MSW, MPH

Director, Clinical Development and Treatment, Optum

Robert has been with Optum for 12 years supporting the growth of the Quit for Life© Program. As the current Director for Clinical Development and Treatment for the Quit for Life Program, he works on ensuring that current programs and protocols are founded in evidence and best practices. In addition, he is currently heading the development of tailored care programs to reach and serve underserved populations with disproportionate higher rates of tobacco use. He provides daily clinical support to coaches around the delivery of treatment. Robert has his Masters of Social Work Degree from the University of Washington with a focus in populations with mental health and chronic health conditions, and a Masters in Public Health Degree with an emphasis in Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences from San Diego State University.

Webinar Objectives
  1. Identify key milestones in the development of promising practices for behavioral health by the quitline community

  2. Describe five components of a quitline tobacco cessation program tailored for callers who report a behavioral health condition.

  3. Describe the outcomes of a tobacco cessation behavioral health program pilot.

Instructions for CME/CEU Credit

Certificates of Attendance

Click here for a certificate of attendance. Best edited/viewed in Adobe Acrobat.


CME/CEUs are available for the recorded version. Click on the "Register - CME/CE" button below.

Additional Resources
  • North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) website at http://www.naquitline.org/

  • Quitline Services issue paper: This is a best practices guide on evidence-based quitline services. The executive summary includes a very useful table that summarizes the findings.

  • Calculating Quit Rates, 2015 Update: This paper describes the method NAQC recommends for calculating quit rates, including how to address sample size, response rates, and a variety of tobacco products (combustible products versus vaping products).

  • http://map.naquitline.org/ - This is a link to the map of state quitlines. Click on any state and you will see a profile of the quitline services offered in the state, including an email contact for staff who oversees the referral program and a link to the website/contact for the program.

  • http://www.naquitline.org/page/2016survey This is a link to the PowerPoint and data from the NAQC annual survey. The most recent data will be presented and posted in late May.