Improving Adolescent Health Through State and Community-level Collaborative Initiatives



Topic: Tobacco Prevention

Hispanic Social Norms Poster Contest
M. Fernanda Nota, MD, FAAP and Mirzada Kurbasic, MD, MSCR, FAAP
Louisville, KY

Awarded the Promising Practices Award for Promoting Adolescents' Strengths (2010)

The Hispanic Youth Positive Social Norm Posters Contest is a collaborative effort; International Population Task Group (IPTG) partnered with ¡Adelante! Hispanic Achievers to organize a poster contest with positive messages promoting tobacco prevention among adolescents. A strong indicator of whether or not a child will engage in high-risk behaviors, such as smoking, is how acceptable the child perceives that activity to be among his/her peers and in society at large. In several sessions adolescents were provided with a presentation on Positive Social Norms, rules of the contest, help with poster sketching and electronic creation and submission. These activities were accompanied by a presentation, both for students and parents, on the harms of tobacco use. Posters were selected by a panel of judges (members of IPTG). At the official exhibit of created artwork and award presentations, parents and relatives voted for their favorite poster. Selected posters will be used in different media campaigns: to create t-shirts, posters displayed in schools, at Hispanic Health Fair and churches, and for newspaper ads.  This activity created young leaders and peer educators in the fight against adolescent tobacco use.

Topic: Suicide Prevention

Stop Youth Suicide Campaign

The Stop Youth Suicide Campaign (SYSC) is a grassroots non-profit organization led by the division of adolescent medicine at the University of Kentucky, dedicated to the formulation and implementation of prevention and intervention programs targeted toward at-risk individuals. In addition to our current outreach programs, the Stop Youth Suicide Campaign hosts an annual conference with the intent to prevent adolescent suicide through community awareness and educational programming. Since 2000, SYSC has acted as central Kentucky's leading community effort striving to raise awareness and educate the public regarding the high-risk behaviors that could lead to suicide and also leads the advocacy efforts with the state legislatures which has resulted in several youth suicide prevention bills. More information about the unique intricacies can be found at For more information about the unique intricacies of this model, refer to the article "A model program for youth suicide prevention" by Hatim A Omar, MD (Int J Adolsc Med Health 2005; 17(3):275-78) or

Topic: School Health

School-Based Health Promotion Center

The Division of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Kentucky operates two school-based health promotion centers; one in an urban area and one in a rural area of Kentucky. Each year since 2001, our school-based health promotion centers have provided free individual assessments of middle and high school freshman. The purpose of the school-based health promotion center is to promote positive behaviors and focus on the avoidance of risk-taking behaviors, including tobacco, alcohol and other substances and risky sexual behavior. We also provide comprehensive interventions for students needing these services. These efforts, have resulted in drastic reductions in unplanned teenage pregnancies, drug use, school dropout rates, suicide and other associated high-risk behaviors in these schools. For more information:

Topic: School Health

School based health promotion center. Two centers, one in rural school and one in the city that provide risk assessment, identifying at risk teens and helping them improve while encouraging low risk teens to stay that way. This has contributed to significant improvement in teen outcomes in both places. For more information contact Hatim Omar at


If you would like to submit an adolescent health project to be considered for this database, please send a brief description of the project along with contact information to

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Last Updated 7/11

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