Member states were asked to answer the following question:
What opportunities do the new funds related to teen pregnancy prevention bring to states related to increasing and/or improving efforts around adolescent reproductive and sexual health?
Anne-Marie Braga, MSSW, LCSW
Director of Adolescent and School Health Initiatives
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
These funds would provide Colorado with the opportunity to work with our local public health agencies and Maternal and Child programs to increase both access to comprehensive sexuality education and positive youth development opportunities for youth, especially those disproportionately affected by teen pregnancy. These funds could improve the sexual health of youth and young adults by increasing their use of contraception, delaying their onset of sexual activity and ultimately, decrease the teen pregnancy rate across Colorado.
Public Health Program Manager
State Adolescent Health Coordinator
Pennsylvania Department of Health
The new funds related to teen pregnancy prevention provide many opportunities for states to expand and improve current efforts around adolescent reproductive and sexual health. As many states are forced to make tough budget decisions, fewer funds are available to dedicate to teen pregnancy prevention. Therefore, this funding provides a great opportunity to refocus attention on the need for teen pregnancy, STI and HIV prevention programs. With the wide range of new funds there are many options for states to move forward with the implementation and expansion of current teen pregnancy prevention efforts. In Pennsylvania, this will mean an increase in the number of evidence-based teen pregnancy, STI and HIV programs being implemented in schools and community-based settings. This funding is also creating new partnerships between the Department of Health, Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, local school districts, and local county/municipal health departments to implement evidence-based programs where there currently are no programs in place. By increasing the number of evidence-based teen pregnancy, STI and HIV programs being implemented across Pennsylvania, more adolescents will have the knowledge and skills needed to prevent an unplanned pregnancy and prevent a STI and/or HIV.
State Adolescent Health Coordinator
Office of Program Decision Support
Division of Family and Community Health
Texas Department of State Health Services
The Teen Pregnancy Prevention funds have provided opportunities for partnerships to be formed that may have not existed prior to the funding announcements, including a new and exciting partnership with the adolescent health and HIV/STD programs. It is making us think strategically across divisions and agencies about how to capitalize on this opportunity and achieve the most impact and reach with these funds. It has also brought an exciting new focus and interest to the adolescent population, particularly with the opportunity to incorporate youth development frameworks into addressing adolescent reproductive and sexual health and other adolescent health areas. The funding opportunity has also given us a chance to tie together several projects and collaborative efforts, such as the National Stakeholders Meeting 2.0*, under a common theme and framework.
*The National Stakeholders Meeting 2.0 is a project conducted by the National Stakeholders Collaborative (NSC), which is a partnership made up of representatives from the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), and the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation (Society). For more information about the project, see Feature Three and the Michigan Success Story.