Marcy Receives ALA Unsung Hero Award
- By Jennifer Nachbur
On June 10, 2011, the national American Lung Association (ALA)/C. Everett Koop Foundation honored Theodore Marcy, M.D., M.P.H., University of Vermont professor of medicine and Fletcher Allen pulmonologist, with the 2011 Unsung Heroes' Award. The honor recognizes an individual who has made important strides in the effort to control tobacco use. Marcy's many contributions to reduce the burden of tobacco use range from patient care to program development to research on health care systems change to facilitating brief smoking cessation interventions by physicians.
He was nominated for the award by the ALA of New England. Currently an ALA of New England board member, Marcy has served as an ALA Vermont board and leadership council member, including two terms as chair, since 1999. He was centrally involved in securing $1 million in funds for the UVM Asthma Clinical Research Center (ACRC), one of 19 sites in the multi-state network of ALA ACRCs conducting clinical trials of therapies for asthma.
For more than a decade, Marcy has educated colleagues, lawmakers and the public in Vermont, the region and U.S. about the three most effective ways to prevent and reduce tobacco use, including a comprehensive tobacco control program, 100 percent clean indoor air laws and increased cigarette excise taxes. He helped develop Vermont's tobacco control program, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Best Practices for Tobacco Control. Since the program began in 2001, the youth smoking rate has been cut in half and over 20,000 adults have quit smoking.
A former chair of the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation and Review Board (TERB) and current chair of TERB's evaluation committee, Marcy has been a strong advocate for funding this successful program, and protecting the Tobacco Trust Fund that was created to provide a sustainable fund for tobacco control efforts. He has been funded by the National Cancer Institute to develop and implement a computer-mediated decision support system for smoking cessation counseling that is now available to providers on Fletcher Allen Health Care's electronic health record, PRISM.