The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health is a nonprofit organization, formed by Harriette Fox and Peggy McManus (formerly of the MCH Policy Research Center), to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of adolescents, especially those in low-income and minority communities, by promoting fundamental improvements in the way that adolescent health care is structured and financed. Their aim is to increase access to integrated preventive, physical, behavioral, and sexual health care that can effectively support adolescents in staying healthy, reducing health risk behaviors, identifying their health problems earlier, and taking on responsibility for managing their health care. The National Alliance also seeks to expand holistic health promotion strategies for adolescents in their communities.
To this end, The National Alliance works on:
1. Educating stakeholders and building partnerships. With its national partner organizations, including AMCHP, and its innovative adolescent health center partners, The National Alliance develops position papers, sign-on letters, fact sheets, and presentations for policymakers, advocates, health care professionals, and the media.
2. Promoting effective adolescent health care. Through focus groups, surveys, and studies of comprehensive, interdisciplinary adolescent health programs, The National Alliance identifies effective care models and shares them through their website, publications, and technical assistance.
3. Improving the adolescent health workforce. Partnering with leaders in pediatric and adolescent medicine, The National Alliance analyzes physician training needs in adolescent medicine and develops recommendations to improve training of future adolescent health providers.
4. Providing planning and technical support. The National Alliance provides on-site strategic planning and technical support for communities and states seeking to make systemic improvements in adolescent health care, particularly for low-income and minority youth.
Several reports have been produced by The National Alliance that might be of particular interest to AMCHP readers. Future Directions for the Office of Adolescent Health Care presents the views of more than 30 clinical and policy experts, including leaders from AMCHP and the National Network of State Adolescent Health Coordinators, about how OAH should best carry out its legislative charge to improve adolescent health outcomes through increased coordination. Health Care Transition for Youth with Special Health Care Needs is previewed elsewhere in this issue of Pulse. Other reports on preventive care, multiple health risk behaviors, teen and parent perspectives on health care, and more can be found on their website, www.thenationalalliance.org.
With contribution from staff of the National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health.