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Tuesday, May 18, 10 am to 12 pm

NAMI California presents a Town Hall Meeting on tobacco-free recovery, with guests Dr. Gary Tedeschi of the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, Moores Cancer Center, and Catherine Saucedo and Dr. Steve Schroeder of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California San Francisco.


Only 1 in 4 community behavioral health facilities offer tobacco cessation services, and even fewer utilize nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) and other pharmacological supports. Do you know what services are available and most effective for assisting individuals with mental illness who want to stop using tobacco? This presentation will uncover the hidden epidemic of tobacco’s deadly toll on the behavioral health community, including the tobacco industry’s target marketing tactics. It will introduce you to the California Smokers’ Helpline, a free service to help people quit smoking, vaping and chewing tobacco and explain the available services, what to expect when reaching out, and how the program helps people quit.

About the Town Hall Speakers

Gary J. Tedeschi, Ph.D., University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Tedeschi is a licensed psychologist (#PSY 14241) at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine, Moores Cancer Center. He has worked there since 1994 as the Clinical Director of the California Smokers’ Helpline and the Center for Tobacco Cessation. At the Helpline he is responsible for clinical supervision, counseling protocol development, counselor training, and continuing education. At the Center he provides technical assistance and training for medical and behavioral health professionals on tobacco cessation interventions. Dr. Tedeschi also has years of previous clinical experience providing psychotherapy for individuals, couples and groups in settings including community mental health, psychiatric in-patient, and university counseling centers. Dr. Tedeschi holds a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri, Kansas City; an M.A. in counseling psychology from Boston College; and a B.A. in psychology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

Catherine Saucedo, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California San Francisco

Catherine Saucedo is the deputy director for the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center (SCLC) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The SCLC aims to increase smoking cessation rates and increase the number of health professionals who help smokers quit. As deputy director, Saucedo works to assure the strategic goals and plans of the center are met. She is responsible for the center’s short‐ and long‐term strategic planning; ensuring that SCLC is at the forefront of tobacco control and prevention messaging and strategies. As the deputy director, she creates optimal systems, which cover a wide spectrum of areas, including public relations and marketing for the center; grantee management and partner collaborations. A specialist in results‐based accountability, a data‐driven decision‐making process designed to help communities and organizations move from talk to action, Saucedo has helped create a multitude of national, state and county cross‐sector partnerships focused on driving tobacco use prevalence down.

Catherine’s extensive background in tobacco control and prevention includes 20 years of professional nonprofit and for‐profit experience in marketing, social marketing and development, as well as service as co‐chair of a consortium of organizations that coordinated efforts to build public awareness of the 50th anniversary Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health and participation on the North American Quitline Consortium Advisory Council. A graduate of L’Institut d’Aix‐en‐Provence, France, and California State University, Northridge, Catherine earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in French language and culture with a minor in art history.

Steven A. Schroeder, MD, Smoking Cessation Leadership Center, University of California San Francisco

Dr. Schroeder is Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, UCSF, where he also heads the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The Center, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Truth Initiative, works with leaders of more than 80 American health professional organizations and health care institutions to increase the cessation rate for smokers. It has expanded the types of clinician groups that support cessation, developed an alternative cessation message (Ask, Advise, Refer), created new ways to market toll-free telephone quit lines, and engaged the mental health and addictions treatment community for the first time. The Center’s current work is focused especially on how to reduce the huge health burden from smoking that falls upon those with mental illnesses and/or substance abuse disorders. SCLC works collaboratively with SAMHSA, HRSA, the CDC, and multiple health professional groups to provide technical assistance to help strengthen smoking cessation capabilities. The Center has also facilitated summit meetings involving 18 states that conduct tobacco cessation summits enabling states to achieve targeted reductions in smoking rates among behavioral health populations. In 2018, it was designated by SAMHSA as the National Center for Excellence in Tobacco-Free Recovery.

Between 1990 and 2002, Dr. Schroeder was President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. During that time the Foundation made grant expenditures of almost $4 billion in pursuit of its mission of improving the health and health care of all Americans. It developed new programs in substance abuse prevention and treatment, care at the end of life, and health insurance expansion for children, among others. Dr. Schroeder graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Medical School, and trained in internal medicine at the Harvard Medical Service of Boston City Hospital and in epidemiology as an EIS Officer of the CDC. He held faculty appointments at Harvard, George Washington, and UCSF. At both George Washington and UCSF he was founding medical director of a university-sponsored HMO, and at UCSF he founded its division of general internal medicine. He is a director of the Marin Community Foundation, and Mathematica Policy Research, former member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine (19 years) and former chair of the Health Care Services Board of the Institute of Medicine as well as a member of the IOM Council(now National Academy of Medicine). He chaired the American Legacy Foundation (now Truth Initiative), was an Overseer of Harvard, President, the Harvard Medical Alumni Association, and director of the James Irvine Foundation. In 2014, he was named a public member of the Congressionally-mandated federal Interagency Committee on Smoking and Health. He has won numerous awards, including six honorary doctoral degrees and the Gustav O. Leinhard Award from the National Academy of Medicine. He and his wife Sally live in Tiburon, CA. They have two physician sons and four grandchildren