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 Past Projects: Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health

Adolescent Reproductive & Sexual Health Disparities Summit and Scholarship Program   

AMCHP conducted extensive research with MCH programs about the current realities and needs in states around adolescent reproductive and sexual health disparities. In 2009, AMCHP created a work group—made up of federal partners, national partners, state partners and foundation partners—to advise on how best to build the capacity of AMCHP members and partners to promote equity and address ARSH disparities among key population subgroups. AMCHP, with the work group’s support, developed and implemented a day long Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Disparities Summit (March 6, 2010).  AMCHP designed and facilitated the Summit to increase understanding of ARSH disparities, create a shared understanding of the challenges and successes in addressing ARSH disparities, and increase knowledge and skills related to using data to inform decision makers.  The skills building session during the Summit was intended to give participants strategies and skills for effectively using data to communicate the key issues around ARSH disparities with legislatures, health officers, the public, and other decision makers. AMCHP sponsored 4 Scholars from Texas, Puerto Rico, Washington, and Alaska to attend the Summit and is providing twelve months of ongoing training and technical assistance to help them develop and implement an action plan to address key ARSH disparities in their states and territory.  This project is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH).

Science-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy Prevention

In 2002, CDC funded the cooperative agreement “Coalition Capacity Building to Prevent Teen Pregnancy” with three national organizations and five state teen pregnancy prevention coalitions. The purpose of this 3-year project was to build state and local capacity through the use of science-based approaches to prevent teen pregnancy and promote adolescent reproductive health, including abstinence, and prevent STDs and HIV. Successes from this program included increasing grantee’s abilities to understand and advocate for science-based approaches, increasing grantee’s ability to develop logic models to improve program planning and evaluation, as well as increasing the number of youth participating in programs shown to successfully delay sexual debut and reduce teen pregnancy, HIV, and STDs. Building upon the successes of the previous cooperative agreement, in 2005 CDC funded a 5-year cooperative agreement with three national organizations and nine state coalitions to continue the work to increase the capacity of local organizations to select, implement, and evaluate a science-based approach to prevent teen pregnancy, HIV, and STDs in their communities. Program activities include:
◾Providing training and technical assistance to state coalitions and local organizations to increase their ability to use science-based approaches. 
◾Disseminating lessons learned and science-based information to organizations working with youth on the national, state, and local levels.

The national organizations are providing technical assistance to state and local organizations to implement, translate, and disseminate science-based teen pregnancy prevention programs. The grantees were:

The state coalitions are strengthening the ability of state and local teen pregnancy prevention coalitions to select, implement, and evaluate science-based programs that address local needs. The grantees were:

Regional Training Centers
To increase the ability of states and local communities to support such programs CDC’s Adolescent Reproductive Health Program funded a portion of the cooperative agreement “Integrating HIV and Other Prevention Services into Reproductive Health and Community Settings,” among four Regional Training Centers. This 5–year project, beginning in 2004, is intended to build capacity within communities to prevent teen pregnancy, HIV, and STDs and promote adolescent reproductive health, including abstinence by providing technical assistance and training on using science-based approaches. Funded sites included:

Teen Pregnancy, HIV and STI Prevention: Linking Evidence and Practice through State and Local Partnerships

In 2009, AMCHP and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), with the support of the Centers for Disease Control-Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH) and Division of Reproductive Health (CDC-DRH), continued to partner to provide capacity-building assistance on evidence-based approaches for teen pregnancy, HIV and STI prevention to state and local prevention practitioners. The AMCHP/NACCHO partnership and resulting project, in addition to engaging and maximizing the contribution of state and local health department staff, was intended to enhance the existing efforts between education and teen pregnancy coalition staff through a modified ALC process.  The activities in the project were designed to build on existing state and tribal government-based efforts to disseminate information on proven, successful teen pregnancy, HIV and STI prevention interventions, and enable the development of efforts focusing on localities with the highest teen pregnancy rates.  AMCHP and NACCHO staff worked in partnership with CDC to release a Request for Applications to work with up to three small core state/local teams consisting of representatives from state and local health departments, the state education agency, and the state teen pregnancy prevention coalition to achieve two key objectives: 1) planning a one-day training on evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy targeted at new audiences for this information or providing enhanced information for audiences already familiar with this information and 2) participating in a half-day future planning meeting to strategize immediate next steps for their work together.  Over the course of the year of this project, AMCHP and NACCHO provided financial and technical assistance to three teams from Massachusetts, Minnesota and Pennsylvania to organize three one-day trainings on evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy, HIV and STI prevention, participate in a follow-up future planning discussion to help the group determine immediate next steps to addressing teen pregnancy, HIV and STI prevention and document successes, barriers, and lessons learned in promoting evidence-based programming to address teen pregnancy, HIV and STI infection. Because the goals of each in-state training were unique to the needs of individual states, the outcomes varied according to the states.  However, overall, the trainings were successful in improving participant:

  • Ability to develop partnerships with other organizations/schools in their communities to assist in adolescent pregnancy/HIV/STD prevention (Massachusetts)

  • Understanding of evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy, HIV and STD prevention (Pennsylvania)

  • Understanding of available resources related to evidence-based programs (Pennsylvania)

  • Understanding of schools who are currently working to implement evidence-based programs (Pennsylvania and Massachusetts)

  • Ability to frame messages related to adolescent reproductive health (Minnesota)

AMCHP, in partnership with NACCHO, played a critical role in providing capacity-building assistance on evidence-based approaches for teen pregnancy, HIV and STI prevention to state and local prevention practitioners.  This project improved current state and local collaborations, disseminated valuable information, provided useful training related to evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy prevention, and helped support beneficial discussions for the teams that will help guide their future efforts.

Moving from Interest to Action: Evidence-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy and HIV/STI Prevention

In July 2008, with Annie E. Casey Foundation funding, AMCHP, in conjunction with the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO)—which  is the national membership organization representing local health departments—launched  the “Moving from Interest to Action: Evidence-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy and HIV/STI Prevention” project. Using a request for applications process, five “State-Local Teams” were selected, including CO, ME, MO, MN, and SC, to receive financial and technical assistance from NACCHO and AMCHP to support their collaborative efforts to work toward implementing an evidence-based program to address teen pregnancy and HIV infection at the local level. State-Local Teams were comprised of: one local health official/staff member working on adolescent health issues (NACCHO representative), one state health official/staff member working on adolescent health issues (AMCHP representative), and one representative from a community organization in the geographical area that the local health department (LHD) and state health department (SHD) team were interested in targeting.  

To kick off the “Moving from Interest to Action Initiative,” in July 2008, NACCHO and AMCHP held a three-day training on evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention for members of the selected five State-Local Teams in Chicago, IL. In addition to having the opportunity to learn from and engage in dialogue with subject experts, time was also built into the training for State-Local team members to start the process of developing an action plan to guide their teen pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention efforts in their respective communities and engage in dialogue with one another regarding their specific team efforts and strategies for addressing possible barriers that they may face. 

AMCHP and NACCHO provided onging support to the five State-Local Teams to help them lay the groundwork necessary for launching an evidence-based response to the issue of teen pregnancy and HIV/STI prevention in their respective local communities. This financial and technical support from the NACCHO-AMCHP partnership helped the five State-Local Teams execute the following key accomplishments related to their local level efforts: 

Team Colorado

  • Securing funding for the teen pregnancy prevention initiative at the San Juan Basin Health Department

  • Including Bayfield youth in planning and future implementation of Team efforts

  • Gaining of support from key community stakeholders in turn leading to increased credibility from the neighboring larger school district, Durango Public Schools

Team Maine

  • Building relationships between the state and city of Portland on parenting issues relating to health, including productive discussions on how to approach reproductive health with immigrant populations

  • Establishing an on-going discussion group for Somali mothers on parenting 

Team Minnesota

  • Securing the help of a local communication and framing expert to help build greater public support and political will around the issue of teen pregnancy and STI prevention

  • Planning a Town Hall style meeting in Richfield to address how to frame the issue of teen pregnancy and STI prevention in the community 

Team Missouri

  • Missouri Adolescent Health Program’s drafting of a contract to provide funding to the Mississippi County Health Department’s to support the Team project

  • Expanding the local community coalition (CAAAP) to include new members committing to local efforts to address county teen pregnancy rates, which have increased

  • Planning of a Town Hall meeting designed to increase awareness and community buy-in for evidence-based approaches and programs

  • Forming a CAAAP subcommittee to advise strategic planning efforts in 2009 

Team South Carolina

  • Successfully securing grant funding, space, and furnishings for a teen-friendly clinic

  • Finalizing a Memorandum of Agreement between Communities in Schools and SC-DHEC for teen clinic operation 

  • Opened the teen clinic

During the State-Local Teams training, on technical assistance conference calls and in their final project reports, a number of the State-Local teams mentioned the positive impact that the “Moving From Interest to Action Initiative” had on encouraging the formation of collaborations between LHDs, SHDs and community-based partners to address teen pregnancy and HIV/STIs in their communities. The Initiative’s impact of strengthening the level of communication and collaboration among local and state team members and agencies have been catalysts for implementing strategies collectively at both community and state levels. 

Promoting Science-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy – AMCHP and CityMatCH Teen Pregnancy Prevention Roundtable

AMCHP and CityMatCH proposed the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Roundtable meeting under the assumption that building a stronger relationship between state and local/urban MCH departments will help develop sustained teen pregnancy prevention efforts.  In March 2006, AMCHP and CityMatCH entered a partnership to forge this collaboration.  The AMCHP/CityMatCH Partnership seeks to achieve two-way learning and an increase in collaboration between and among state and local representatives (including coalitions) working on teen pregnancy prevention.  In November 2006, AMCHP and CityMatCH, together with partners from CDC and Healthy Teen Network, conducted research, i.e., a needs assessment of our respective memberships, on what is happening at the state and local levels in the area of teen pregnancy prevention, and what can be done to disseminate the nationally recognized data on the most effective programs to prevent teen pregnancy (i.e. science-based programs). In September 2007, AMCHP and CityMatCH convened two-day training and meeting titled “Science-Based Approaches to Teen Pregnancy Prevention; What Are They and How Can We Promote Their Use?”

Training teams consisting of representatives from state and local maternal and child health and community and/or coalition members attended the September training. Training teams from the following states participated in the meeting:

  • Arizona

  • Kansas 

  • Montana

  • Nebraska

  • North Carolina

  • Ohio

  • Pennsylvania

  • Tennessee

  • Washington

Notes

  1. Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on American Teens Sexual and Reproductive Health”

  2. Kaiser Family Foundation, “Sexual Health Statistics for Teenagers and Young Adults in the United States”

  3. Ibid, Guttmacher

  4. Ibid, Guttmacher