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About the ACT Center

Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Sciences
The University of Mississippi School of Medicine

The ACT Center opened its doors in 1999. Our primary infrastructure support is provided by funding from the Mississippi State Legislature and Mississippi State Department of Health. (Previously, our support was in the form of grants from The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.) These funds are based on Mississippi's Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco industry, and our recent increase in cigarette excise taxes.

We have also enjoyed continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; National Institute of Drug Abuse; Food and Drug Administration), and received both investigator initiated grants and clinical trial contracts from pharmaceutical companies (Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline).

Thomas J. Payne, PhD, is the Center Director, and oversees all statewide operations. Program staff include faculty, Tobacco Treatment Specialists, administrative staff, and students at various levels (undergraduate, graduate, and postdocs).

Program Philosophy

  • Mission. To improve the health of Mississippians by reducing tobacco use through treatment, education and research.

  • Vision. Mississippi will lead the nation in the treatment of tobacco use.

  • Goal. The ACT Center will serve as a treatment, educational and research resource to benefit all Mississippians.

Core Components

ACT Center activities emphasize three core components:

  • Treatment. The provision of state-of-the-art evidence-based treatment to help Mississippians who use tobacco to achieve long-term abstinence. Our funding permits the provision of these services at little or no cost to state residents. We strive to work in tandem with other available programs in an effort to maximize treatment impact.

  • Education. Our activities include a variety of educational efforts as a means to motivating tobacco users to quit. Importantly, training healthcare professionals to promote cessation among tobacco users is a key activity, designed to increase the availability and accessibility of clinical services. Our key workshops emphasize brief interventions and training / certifying Tobacco Treatment Specialists; other activities include presentations to healthcare providers, students, businesses and organizations on a variety of topics related to tobacco use, impact, treatment and its benefits, and others.

  • Research. ACT Center faculty have been involved in a broad research agenda, including Basic Science (genetics), Applied Clinical (psychological mechanisms, assessment strategies, treatment strategies, subpopulations, treatment efficacy), and Public Health (media messaging, treatment program deployment, treatment efficacy, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness) topics.

Honors and Awards

Dr. Tom Payne has been the recipient of the Bronze, Silver, and Gold Research medallion Awards from the University of Mississippi Medical Center (2009 ? 2012). He is a Fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and served on the President's Cancer Panel (2007).

Anthony Davis and Robert Lock, our Tobacco Treatment Specialists, have received numerous citations for their presentations to community groups, healthcare organizations, schools, and other facilities.

The Prevention of Cancer in Mississippi Award was presented to The ACT Center in 2006 from The Mississippi Partnership for Comprehensive Cancer Control.

The Program Delivery Award was presented to The ACT Center in 2004 from the National Chronic Disease Directors.

The ACT Center at tThe University of Mississippi Medical Center
The University of Mississippi Medical Center