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Conrad Colby, a professor of respiratory therapy at Boise State University, was recently awarded the American Heart Association�s 1999-2000 Golden Advocacy Award for his work as a member of the Tobacco-Free Idaho Alliance.

Colby was given the award during a meeting of the BSU College of Health Sciences earlier this month. The presentation was made by Lisa Rosenberry, executive director of Idaho�s chapter of the American Heart Association, and Mary MacConnell, American Heart Association advocacy manager.

As chair of the Tobacco-Free Idaho Alliance for several years, Colby was recognized for his work to support tobacco-free groups throughout Idaho and to bring other groups to the table who were also interested in tobacco control.

He was also cited for his involvement to secure funding that was available through the American Medical Association to stress the importance of tobacco control for public health.

�Con was there from the beginning helping to write the grant,� said MacConnell during the presentation. �Once the grant was written, Con didn�t wait for the funding, but immediately set to work to build a coalition to support the focus of the grant: better health for Idahoans through tobacco control.

�Because of those efforts, 30 diverse public health groups, each with its own pet project, were able to come together for a common purpose: tobacco control and prevention. Because of that unity of purpose, the Coalition for a Healthy Idaho was able to convince the Legislature to use the Millennium Fund to begin building a comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program, especially focused on youth.�

�During the past two years, when Idaho�s health community needed a champion to unify a diverse coalition of organizations, Dr. Colby�s professional demeanor, commanding leadership, and subtle statesmanship helped direct a successful campaign to secure and then allocate available funds [for tobacco control], � said John Furniss, director of American Cancer Society in Idaho.

Said Bill Foxcroft, director of the Idaho Primary Care Association, �Dr. Colby has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as both an advocate for the control of tobacco use and as a coalition builder and partner. The Coalition for a Healthy Idaho membership credits Dr. Colby�s substantial leadership and singular devotion as a large measure of our success.

�Con continues to work on our comprehensive campaign to educate the public about the public health dangers surrounding tobacco use. � He has supported this comprehensive approach to tobacco control because we have learned that, just as it takes a community effort to raise a child, it also takes a multifaceted community effort to keep them from substance abuse.�

Colby has taught at Boise State for 30 years. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Montana. A former respiratory therapy department chair at BSU, he will resume that position at the conclusion of the spring 2001 semester.

Con Colby
Respiratory therapy