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 July/August 2014: Adolescent/Young Adult Health and Youth Involvement

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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. [more]



By Lori Tremmel Freeman, BS, MBA

Although teenage pregnancy is at its lowest rate in decades and the declines have been steep, still there were an astonishing 274,641 teen births in 2013, and U.S. teen birth rates remain some of the highest among developed countries. The socioeconomic impacts of teen pregnancy are significant and long lasting, with only 38 percent of teen moms under the age of 18 getting a high school diploma, and children of teen moms being three times as likely to become teen moms themselves. In 2010, it is estimated that teen childbearing cost the United States $9.3 billion. You have to dig a little further to understand the impact related to the teen dad, but it is no less, or arguably, even more significant. [more]



An Update from the Office of Adolescent Health

By Evelyn Kappeler 
Director, Office of Adolescent Health

As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) approaches its fifth anniversary, I am pleased to report that we are involved in several exciting and collaborative activities to promote youth engagement, positive youth development and adolescent health. [more]


A Look at Today's Young Adults

By Traci Cook
Forum Coordinator, Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

America's Young Adults: Special Issue, 2014 has been released by the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (the Forum), a collaboration of more than 20 federal agencies. The report  paints a statistical portrait of young adults in the United States, ages 18-24, featuring data from nationally representative, federally sponsored surveys, summarized under five key themes: education, economic circumstances, family formation, civic, social, and personal behavior, and health and safety. [more]


Paired Practica in State Title V Agencies

By Arden Handler, DrPH, Deneen Long-White, PhD and Jaime Klaus, MA
National MCH Workforce Development Center, University of Illinois-Chicago

The National MCH Workforce Development Center has launched multiple new initiatives during its first year in an effort to increase state Title V program capacity to respond to the changing health care environment. One of these exciting new initiatives is the "Paired Practica" program. Partially modeled on the successful Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Graduate Student Epidemiology Program (GSEP), the "Paired Practica" program of the MCH Workforce Development Center exposes current MCH undergraduate students and MCH graduate students/recent graduates to state Title V agencies as they undergo a transformation to a systems integration approach. Likewise, the "Paired Practica" program directly exposes the MCH workforce "pipeline" to contemporary practice changes while providing the current MCH workforce in Title V agencies with the opportunity to both "acculturate" the future workforce and to benefit from the new knowledge and skills of current trainees. [more]


Health Issues Facing Young Adults

By M. Jane Park, M.P.H.
Project Coordinator, National Adolescent Health Information and Innovation Center
Public Policy Analysis and Education Center for Adolescent and Young Adult Health, University of California, San Francisco

Why focus on young adults? 
Young adulthood is a critical period in the life course. Generally, young adulthood is defined as ages 18-24 or 18-25; however, some researchers use 18-29. During this time, young adults navigate the transition to adult roles, responsibilities and relationships. They make choices that may involve college, employment, military service, as well as marriage and childbearing. These choices have implications for their health and well-being, as well as access to health care services. [more]



Recognizing a Great Public Health Achievement

By Brent Ewig, MHS 
Director, Public Policy & Government Affairs, AMCHP

In 1999, the CDC published a series of reports highlighting ten of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th Century. Maternal and child health professionals should take great pride that "healthier mothers and babies" and "family planning" are included on that list. In 2011, the CDC revisited the list to cover the first decade of the 21st century and once again "maternal and infant health" was featured. Now, just as we are going to press with this issue of Pulse, the CDC released a new report showing that the teen birth rate fell an almost unbelievable 57 percent from between 1991 and 2013. Surely this will qualify as one of the greatest achievements of our time. [more]



By Nkem Nwankwo
Youth Advisor, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

From my birth in Nigeria I have gone by the name Nkem mostly because that's the name my parents gave me and partly because I like it. In my native tongue of Igbo it means 'my own' so basically my mamma was really possessive of me; that makes me feel loved! Currently, I live in Colorado because it's an amazing state for many reasons especially the things we Coloradans are able to do for leisure. Fun for me consists of playing my guitar by the creek, or watching the sun rise or set from the top of Lookout Mountain. I would call educating younger whippersnappers in the game of basketball fun but that's my weekend work. They call me "The Professor" now. [more]



We asked members what they were doing to address bullying.


The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) maintains a youth-focused bullying prevention project. Currently 16 elementary schools within three Virginia school districts are entering year two of the three year implementation and evaluation of the evidence-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. [more]



New MCH Leaders and AMCHP Staff

See a list of new MCH Leaders. [more]



New Resources for National Suicide Prevention Week 
National Suicide Prevention Week (Sep 8-14, 2014) and World Suicide Prevention Day (Sep 10, 2014) are approaching, and resources are available from the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to support events and observances in your state. In the days following the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams by suicide,calls to national suicide hotlines and visits to support websites spiked, and it seems likely that this year's awareness events will receive increased attention and have the potential to reach wider audiences. [more]

Nominate Your Peers for a 2015 AMCHP Award 
AMCHP recognizes leadership in maternal and child health in several ways, including awards presented to MCH leaders to honor their excellence in the field. These awards will be presented at the 2015 AMCHP Annual Conference, Jan. 24-27 in Washington, DC. [more]



See new data resources are available to help us explore health issues for young adults here.



View Adolescent/Young Adult Health and Youth Involvement resources here.



Meet the AMCHP Board of Directors.



Meet the AMCHP staff.