Improving Adolescent Health Through Collaborative Initiatives

 

Alabama

Topic Area: Obesity Prevention

Five chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are focusing special attention on improving the health of the adolescent population in their states. Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Arizona, and Pennsylvania placed a priority on specific adolescent health issues after a team of professionals attended a Leadership Conference at the AAP in December 2003.

Each team brought 4-5 members including pediatricians and other public health or education professionals, to a conference that focused on increasing pediatrician's capacity to collaborate with other health care professional, public health officials, and policy makers to achieve positive lifestyle behaviors among youth.

The goal of the team who attended the conference from Alabama was to establish a diverse coalition of stakeholders to focus on improving adolescent health within their state. The steering committee, which developed after the team returned to Alabama, met in July 2004 and determined adolescent obesity as a priority. There is already an Obesity Task Force within the state, so the group is working to ensure that adolescent issues are addressed through the task force. Other developments related to adolescent health include the designation by the health department of a person to serve as the state adolescent health coordinator, which is a position that had previously been left vacant. Due to this position being filled, a regional meeting of the state health coordinators will be taking place in Birmingham in June 2005. In addition, one of the conference attendees has been recently appointed MCH Director, which provides a positive footing for adolescent health issues to be addressed within the public health system. The steering committee members are determining future meetings to continue promoting the adolescent health agenda. For more information on this project, contact LaDonna Crews, MD, at Lmcrews1@aol.com.

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Last Updated 2/07