Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance and partner organizations join the BUILD Health Challenge to Reduce Smoking in Northern Kentucky.

July 23, 2018: The Northern Kentucky Regional Alliance, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, The Center for Great Neighborhoods, Three Rivers Health Department, and The Northern Kentucky Health Department join the BUILD Health Challenge to Reduce Smoking in Northern Kentucky.  Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the BUILD (Bold, Upstream, Integrated, Local, and Data-driven initiatives) Health Challenge is an initiative designed to foster and expand meaningful partnerships among health systems, community based organizations, local health departments, and other organizations that impact health in the community. The funding partners behind the challenge, including Cincinnati based Interact for Health, seek to catalyze meaningful progress toward total population health.  BUILD Health projects take upstream approaches to improve community health and promote health equity.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky has the highest smoking rates of any state in the U.S. (38%), and the City of Covington and Gallatin County’s rates are more than double the national average (16%).

The BUILD NKY Partnership was awarded a grant in July of 2017 to create a 2% reduction in the adult smoking rate in Covington and a 1% reduction in Gallatin County within a two-year period. This project will improve data-driven decision making while softening residents’ perceptions about tobacco-free environments. The short-term impacts include healthier residents, increased use of data to plan and evaluate complex health programs, and a collaboration across sectors to address health problems in Northern Kentucky. The desired long-term impact is that fewer people will face tobacco-related chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, lung problems, and cancer. Those exposed to secondhand smoke will have improved outcomes and fewer children will start smoking. In addition, the resident tax burden from smoking will decrease.

FREE Nicotine Replacement Therapy will be available for residents and workers of Covington and Gallatin County in order to reduce the smoking rate. A free two-week supply of nicotine patches will be available in mid-August 2018 at pharmacies in the city of Covington and Gallatin County. These pharmacies include:

  • Blanks Pharmacy
  • Ruwe Family Pharmacy
  • Save Discount Drugs
  • St. Elizabeth Pharmacy
  • Walgreens

In addition to free Nicotine Replacement Therapy, the BUILD NKY partner programs are introducing the “Quit for Good” Community Grant Program. This program provides grant funding of $250 to $500 to community members who design and implement creative ways to reduce and prevent tobacco usage throughout Covington and Gallatin County.

Any Covington or Gallatin County residents, students, artists, or workers are eligible to submit their “Quit for Good” Community Grant proposals that will help the BUILD Health Challenge reach its goals.  Those interested in submitting an idea are encouraged to contact Stuart Zorn at (513) 923-6452 or email  Applications are available at: