By Millie Jones, MPH
"Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership."
– Peter Drucker
This edition of the Pulse affords me the opportunity to publicly acknowledge and thank the nation's parents, families and professionals for their work in guiding our youth and young adults. The recent news events affecting our world have caused me to reflect on the importance of the work we all do in helping our youth transition to healthy adulthood. Thanks to an incredible leadership network of adolescent coordinators throughout the Title V infrastructure, the maternal and child health (MCH) community is positioned to develop an "Adolescent Comprehensive System – ACS."** In the recent Title V transformation work, our adolescent leaders were in the fore front advocating for meaningful performance measures to move the needle on youth and adolescent health and wellness.
The following quote by Kristin Teipel, director of the University of Minnesota State Adolescent Health Resource Center captures the work and the opportunity for all of us as members of the maternal and child health community.
"As adolescent and young adult leaders, we have insights that can contribute to a discussion about the impact of environment as a critical factor in the health and well-being of our youth – to discuss the many socioecological factors, including racism, that are undercurrents in the lives of many young people, to explore the complexity of what we need to do to create safe, supportive, nurturing environments for all youth birth to adulthood, and opportunities to discuss how we make the important changes that need to be made (it's not just putting great programs in place – it's also about safe and supportive communities, etc.)." (Kristin Teipel, August 2014)
So, like Kristin, I challenge each of us to share our insights, to engage our youth in conversations about their health and well-being, and continue to work for the development of systems throughout all of our communities that will protect and promote healthy children and youth.
**"Adolescent Comprehensive System – ACS" – Millie's life course vision seen as a natural progression of the Early Childhood Care System – ECCS)