Daniel Craig is the Wellness and Prevention Coordinator for CKF Addiction Treatment. CKF Addiction Treatment provides a wide range of substance use prevention and treatment programs and has served the Salina Kansas community for over 50 years. CKF also has regional offices in McPherson, Abilene, and Junction City and employees approximately 75 staff. Daniel is the agency leader of the tobacco treatment initiative, wellness and prevention initiatives, and oversees the youth educational programs. He has a strong background in planning and coordinating health promotion and tobacco prevention activities and has worked at CKF for over 12 years. He serves on the Board for the Salina Area United Way and is the President Elect for the Kansas Public Health Association. Daniel has participated in Leadership Salina and the Kansas Health Foundation Fellows VIII. Daniel Craig earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Pittsburg State University in 2004 and a Master's of Science degree in Health Promotion & Wellness Management at Missouri State University in 2006. Daniel competed in track and field at both Pittsburg State University and Missouri State University and currently competes in a wide range of running events ranging from the 5K to the marathon.
When I was working on my Master’s Degree at Missouri State University I completed an internship with the American Cancer Society. This sparked a passion for working with community coalitions and nonprofit organizations to address key health needs in communities. As a runner I have also experienced the benefits of making healthy choices and want to make it easier for others to do the same. One of my greatest fears in life when I was young was public speaking and now it has become one of my greatest strengths, so I think that means I have found the perfect career. I received a Tobacco Treatment Specialist certification through Mayo Clinic. It increased my skills in Motivational Interviewing and meeting patients where they are at. It also helped me to realize I am the expert on tobacco, but the patient knows what will work best for them in terms of addressing barriers they have to quitting tobacco use. It also increased my network of professionals that I can reach out to for advice and help and highlighted the importance of keeping up to date on the science, particularly with so many new challenges such electronic cigarettes that have emerged in the last couple of years.
I am a long distance runner and eat healthy. I chaired the conference planning committee for the Eat Right for Life Conference in Salina Kansas last year that featured Dr. Ann Kulze as the keynote presenter. Her presentations inspired me to continue my journey of leading a healthy lifestyle. I also have a garden and purchase fruits and vegetables from my local farmers market. The Live Well Saline County Coalition that I chair took over being the manager and promoter of our newly formed Winter Farmers Market, which addresses the need of providing local foods to the community year-round.
The Kansas Health Foundation Fellows Initiative was a great experience because it brought together individuals from many different types of organizations and also included a leadership development component. From the Kansas Leadership Center I learned that “Leadership starts with me and must engage others” and that taking of yourself is crucial to being a leader in your organization and community. I encourage wellness professionals to participate in your local leadership programs and also state-wide leadership programs. Participating in local and state-wide coalitions and chairing committees and serving on boards are great ways to not only increase leadership skills, but also increase your connections in the community.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of death in the United States. Individuals with behavioral health conditions bear a disproportionate burden from tobacco use as they are nicotine dependent at rates 2-3 times higher than the general population and represent over 44% of the U.S. tobacco market (Journal of the American Medical Association). In 2015 Central Kansas Foundation (CKF) brought in Dr. Jill Williams with Rutgers University-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to Salina for a state-wide training on Integrating Tobacco into Behavioral Health Settings. Following that training CKF implemented the Learning About Healthy Living: Tobacco and You curriculum in all outpatient treatment programs and added electronic cigarettes to our tobacco-free indoor policy. In 2016 CKF received a three year Tobacco & Behavioral Health grant from the Kansas Health Foundation to implement a ten step implementation plan. The grant provided funding for a consultant, Dr. Chad Morris, Behavioral Health & Wellness Program at the University of Colorado and FDA approved tobacco cessation medications. During 2017 CKF established a tobacco-dependence treatment team (13 members), submitted a tobacco-free policy to the CEO and Board of Directors and developed the timeline, goals, and objectives for the initiative. During 2018 CKF adopted the Kansas Tobacco Guideline for Behavioral Health Care and implemented eight Wellness Wednesday and Tobacco Free Days where all offices were tobacco free that day and we provided the nicotine patch and nicotine gum to patients in residential treatment. We also provided education to staff on the benefits that our insurance plan has for tobacco cessation medications. In August 2018 CKF Addiction Treatment implemented a tobacco free facilities policy. In 2019 we received an additional three year tobacco treatment grant from the Kansas Health Foundation that will help support expanding our tobacco treatment efforts at CKF, development of a case study highlighting the process we went through to implement our tobacco free policy, and a youth based initiative that will focus on exploring ways to identify and target high-risk youth for prevention programming and to ensure these would be the youth engaged in developing the prevention messages that would be communicated to their peers. In March 2019 CKF was selected to participate in the WorkWell Kansas program which is administered through the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. Through this program our wellness committee will complete a short worksite-level pre and post assessment and ask all employees to complete an individual-level pre and post assessment, make improvements around tobacco-specific changes, and track outcomes (costs, healthcare claims, and absenteeism). We hope to be accepted into future programs that will focus on physical activity and nutrition.
Although we have made great progress in many areas, suicide and substance use are two areas that we need to focus on. It will also be important for wellness professionals to understand that we cannot do it on our own and that we need to engage nontraditional partners if we are going to make progress on the difficult challenges we will face in the future. Next year I will have the opportunity to be the President of the Kansas Public Health Association. In that role and in my role at CKF Addiction Treatment I hope to integrate leadership development training for wellness professionals, help the organizations I am involved with become more laser focused, and engage nontraditional partners in our efforts to make progress on challenging issues.