A Look Back at Recent Outstanding Emerging Innovation Programs

Date: April 22nd, 2016

Kelly Connelly

A few weeks ago, we re-introduced you to recent recipients of Healthy Teen Network’s Outstanding Teen Parent Awards. Among the other awards bestowed at conference is the Emerging Innovation Award, which recognizes programs in existence for less than three years and are comprehensive in scope, innovative, linked with other appropriate public or private agencies, and could be replicated in other areas.

Learn a little about Emerging Innovation program awardees from the past five years below—and if you know of or are part of a program that you believe should be honored with an award, submit a nomination by April 29, 2016!

2015: Adolescent Centered Environment (ACE) Model (University of Michigan Health System)
The University of Michigan Health System Adolescent Health Initiative’s (AHI) mission is to optimize adolescent health care by improving provider practice, increasing access to youth-friendly care, advancing research and education, and fostering dynamic partnerships with health care providers, health systems, and youth-serving agencies to promote adolescent health and well-being. AHI developed the Adolescent Centered Environment (ACE) model with support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, resulting in innovative approaches to improving the quality of services for adolescent patients, enhancing the culture and climate of health care settings, and impacting patient outcomes. The ACE model was developed with input from a multi-disciplinary team of physicians, social workers, public health experts, and youth collaborators from AHI’s Teen Advisory Council.

2014: Georgia Public Private Partnership to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (P3) (Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential)
P3 has set a state goal to reduce teen pregnancy by 1/3 by 2020. P3 members represent state public agencies, nonprofits, and foundations from multiple arenas including education, child welfare, public health, and juvenile justice. P3 partners are strengthening major state systems and building the infrastructure to strengthen the capacity of youth-serving professionals and clinicians to implement quality, evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and reproductive and sexual health clinical practices. P3 has had unprecedented outcomes in changing systems, aligning resources and work, and building a statewide infrastructure to support high-quality programs and practices in the last three years.

2013: Gender Matters (EngenderHealth)
In 2011, EngenderHealth launched the five-year Gender Matters project (Gen.M) in Travis County, Texas, where the teenage pregnancy rate exceeds the statewide rate. Supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Gender Matters tested an innovative approach that builds on EngenderHealth’s pioneering work with men across 26 countries through the Gender & Men As Partners program. Focusing on youth ages 14 to 16, the program works in partnership with SafePlace and the Travis County Summer Youth Employment Program to educate youth and encourage delayed age at first sexual intercourse; increased use of effective contraceptive methods, including hormonal contraception and IUDs; and increased consistent and correct usage of condoms. Gender Matters is comprised of three components: 1) a five-day educational workshop; 2) a text message and Facebook campaign that reinforces messages about healthy behaviors, gender norms, and peer support; and 3) a series of three community events that further underscore the messages from the workshop and text message/Facebook campaign.

Honorable Mention in this category was given to The Lionheart Foundation’s Power Source Parenting Program in 2013.

2012: Genesister (Boulder County Public Health)
GENESISTER is a teen pregnancy prevention program for the sisters of teen parents who are at increased risk for teen pregnancy themselves. Working from a youth development framework, GENESISTER provides comprehensive sex education, individualized mentoring, pro-social events, educational support, and service learning opportunities to youth ages 11-18. Supporting educational achievement is a critical component of pregnancy prevention; accordingly, the program links clients with tutoring support and assists parents in advocating for their children in the school system. The service learning component encourages civic and community engagement through volunteerism, engaging youth in a variety of vocational environments, thereby fostering a sense of self-efficacy and future orientation. Recognizing that teen pregnancy is often the result of intergenerational family patterns, GENESISTER also offers parent support and education.

2011: Afterschool Health and Sexuality Education Program (Planned Parenthood of New York City)
Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) and the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) teamed up in August 2008 to launch the Afterschool Health and Sexuality Education Program (AHSEP). AHSEP assists PASE-affiliated organizations in achieving sexual and reproductive health (SRH) Ready afterschool settings. To accomplish this, PPNYC offered site-based capacity building assistance services to six organizations serving middle and/or high school youth. Their capacity-building assistance model is an innovative, multi-level intervention based on a theoretical framework for understanding social systems such as afterschool settings. Findings from a two-year study assessed positive changes in organizational policies, knowledge, self-efficacy, and resource availability.

If you haven’t yet saved the date for Roles, Relationships, & Relevance in the Changing Landscape of Adolescent Health, Healthy Teen Network’s 37th Annual National Conference, be sure to make plans to join us in Las Vegas, and stay tuned to www.HealthyTeenNetwork.org/conference for updates.

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About the Author

Healthy Teen Network Senior Marketing and Communications Manager Kelly Connelly, BA, is a graphic designer, photographer, and videographer, and she is experienced at developing skills-building workshops and programs, for professionals as well as youth.

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