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HAS to Take Part in Community Tobacco Prevention Project

April 11, 2011

Local organizations to receive more than $2 million for tobacco prevention efforts

H.A.S. awarded funds to serve Chicago residents facing behavioral health challenges

September 27, 2010 (Chicago) – Healthcare Alternative Systems (H.A.S.) was one of thirty community organizations to be  awarded subcontracts totaling more than $2 million to provide vulnerable communities with smoking cessation resources and promote policies that encourage tobacco-free living.

The contracts are being awarded as a strategy of the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project (CTPP), a partnership between the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

H.A.S will implement evidence-based environmental strategies to reduce access to tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke as well as provide cessation and prevention services to Chicago’s Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods.  H.A.S.’s outreach will target adult residents of these communities who struggle with tobacco dependency in addition to a variety of substance abuse and/or mental health challenges.

“We are very pleased to be participating in the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project,” said Arturo Valdez, Senior Vice President of H.A.S.  “Tobacco use is an important health issue in the communities we serve, so it’s exciting to have this opportunity to improve individual and community quality of life.”  H.A.S. aims to actively engage the Humboldt Park and Logan Square Communities in its tobacco prevention effort, and to decrease the rate of smoking among African-American and Latino community residents by 25 percent.

Applauding the diversity of the selected partners, Dr. Bechara Choucair, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, added: “These dedicated organizations have the experience and the expertise to help us reach and serve groups with higher rates of smoking—people who often are not reached with traditional outreach efforts.”  He continued, “We may come from different neighborhoods, different backgrounds and so forth—but we are united in our commitment to build a healthier, smoke-free Chicago for everyone.”


About H.A.S.: Healthcare Alternative Systems, Inc. was established in 1974 in order to address the critical lack of clinical and social services for Hispanic Americans on Chicago’s Near Northwest Side.  Over the years, H.A.S. has created a continuum of care for substance abuse patients that includes prevention, outpatient, residential, and transitional services.  The agency takes a holistic approach to health and recovery and offers a unique variety of programming addressing family and community issues including domestic violence, postpartum depression, and HIV.  H.A.S. is a multicultural CARF-accredited 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.  It continues to be recognized as Chicago’s leading provider of bilingual, culturally sensitive behavioral health care services for Hispanics and has expanded to provide quality services for culturally and racially diverse populations throughout the Chicago area.

About the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project: In partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health, RHAMC will lead the Chicago Tobacco Prevention Project through March, 2012.  Funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control, the comprehensive program includes hard-hitting media, outreach to vulnerable population groups, and policy efforts that reduce exposure to secondhand smoke.  To learn more, visit