Florida AHEC Network Tobacco Program
Partners In Prevention of Substance Abuse (PIPSA)
For students of Health Professions and in Middle School
The Florida AHEC
Tobacco Program, led by Florida's Area
Health Education Centers Program at the University of Florida, and
implemented at the
Miami, University of South Florida,
University and Florida State
University, originated from the 1997 University of Florida's Partners in
Prevention of Substance Abuse (PIPSA) Project. The original UF project also
created the PIPSA Coalition,
now led by former funding partner Corner Drug Store.
West Florida AHEC sponsors
Northwest Florida State College to participate in
the statewide effort; Gulfcoast South AHEC
also sponsors Manatee Community
College and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic
students, faced with the prospect of teaching middle school students, learn
about tobacco in a meaningful mode, utilizing the PIPSA Tobacco curriculum.
Middle school students are particularly receptive to these young adult role
models and the message they bring.
I. Health professions students are one target group because they need
more education and practice to deal with patients who have substance abuse
II. Middle school students are the other target group. Their risk to
begin ATOD abuse is high due to their vulnerability coupled with suspicion of
The appeal of a health-professions student as a role model for the middle
school student is apparent. Conversely, professional students will be motivated
to learn thoroughly and in ways that may affect their personal and professional
Program Description at UF:
I. Afternoons of Learning using large-group lectures and small groups were
coordinated for 500-650 HSC students (1st-year Medical, 1st-year Dental,
4th-year Nursing and 5th-year Pharmacy) each year since 1998. Participants use
the PIPSA Tobacco Curriculum ~1 week in
advance. An opening lecture discusses the importance of substance abuse
diagnosis/management, addiction, adolescent development, and middle school
classroom management strategies.
The small interdisciplinary groups then go through PIPSA Workbooks which
guide them to process and exchange information about tobacco and how to work
with middle school students.
1. Applied Learning Day the community outreach component, reinforces the
learning by sending HSC students in groups of 2-4 to teach area middle school
students about ATOD abuse. "Promoting Health in our Middle Schools" <Videos>
helps prepare HSC students for the visits. Their teaching kits include a
discussion-trigger videotape and other classroom teaching aids. Since 1998, UF
health professions students have visited a range of 12,000-17,000 middle school
students in 125+ classrooms/year in 9-11 counties yearly; cumulative contacts
exceed 135,000 middle school students in the UF area, and @300,000 across
Florida. Teachers who would like supplemental substance abuse Team Packs may
contact the Center for Precollegiate Education and Training (CPET).
II. Evaluation: Gratifying cognitive gain and limited behavioral change by
health professional students is documented. Middle-school host-teacher
satisfaction surveys were very positive; limited data suggests middle school
student tobacco use is decreasing.
For additional information or questions about PIPSA, contact:
University of Florida AHEC Program Office
Phone: (352) 273- 8530 Fax: (352) 392-1022