Center for Reducing Health Disparities

MOTAC Awards Luncheon “Celebrating 17 Years of Community Action”

Today, we attended the Metro Omaha Tobacco Action Coalition’s Annual Community Recognition Luncheon at the UNO Thompson Alumni Center.  This year marks the 17th year of this community tobacco control coalition.  The Center staff are involved with preventing and reducing tobacco use throughout the community.

This year, Ira Combs was recognized as the Medical Professional for the Cause because of his deep commitment to educating the community through various means including Dr. Jesse, a tobacco prevention coloring book, and NOAH.  Antonia Correa was recognized with a coalition award for “Most Enthusiastic” and Tamicka Bradley was recognized as “Most Creative.”

Ira Combs receiving the MOTAC Award for Medical Professional for the Cause 2009
Ira Combs receiving the MOTAC Award for Medical Professional for the Cause 2009

As for me, it was a bittersweet moment to read the successes from the podium during the luncheon and realize all of the great strides that MOTAC and our community have made to reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.  I have been involved now for eight years and have seen the struggles and the successes that we have made.

Tamicka Bradley, Rita Rodriguez, Antonia Correa, Athena Ramos, and Adriana Chavez at the MOTAC Luncheon
Tamicka Bradley, Rita Rodriguez, Antonia Correa, Athena Ramos, and Adriana Chavez at the MOTAC Luncheon

Starting Monday, June 1, 2009, Nebraska will be smoke-free.  In fact, Nebraska has one of the most comprehensive smoke-free laws in the country.  Congratulations Nebraska!