Improving Adolescent Health Through Collaborative Initiatives


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.

This conference was part of the AAP Adolescent Health Project, with received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC-DASH) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) Office of Adolescent Health, in an effort to promote the National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (NIIAH) by the Year 2010. The goal of NIIAH 2010 is to comprehensively address 21 critical objectives selected from Healthy People 2010 that present the most serious health issues among young people.

After the team from Arizona met at the conference, they decided to incorporate a positive message into the Governor's Call to Action encouraging self-efficacy into decision making for adolescents, with a specific focus on promoting physical activity and proper nutrition for children and their family. The team was able to meet once they returned to Arizona. The activity that developed from their participation in the Leadership Forum is an art contest focusing on teen messages for health lifestyles. Student Artists for Healthy Lifestyles contest targets eight high schools on the Arizona and Mexico border. The program is directed by the Arizona Border Health Office and has support from a number of organizations including the University of Arizona, the Arizona chapter of the AAP, the Arizona Department of Health Services, Arizona Department of Education, U.S. Mexico Border Commission, and other groups. The art entries from the contest will be judged and winners announced in May 2005 and then the winning art will be incorporated into local community-based health messages. The Arizona Dept of Health also is making plans to evaluate the impact of the art contest's winning health messages on the community. For more information on this project, contact Rose Conner, Assistant Director, Arizona Department of Health, at

Topic Area: General

Adolescent Health Website
Comprehensive website on adolescent health, resource for professionals, adolescents and families. Adolescent involvement, developmentally appropriate, comprehensive info in one site. For more information on this project, contact Karla Birkholz at

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Last Updated 7/11
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