Improving Adolescent Health Through State-level Collaborative Initiatives

Pennsylvania

Topic: General Adolescent Health

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.

The Pennsylvania team chose to increase collaboration at the state level on adolescent health as their goal based on their activities at the conference. Through the work of the team, an adolescent task force is being convened on the state level through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Health. The task force is expected to meet in May. A long-term goal of the group is to develop a statewide prevention network of institutions and individuals focused on adolescent health issues. In addition, the regular continuing medical education (CME) teleconference calls sponsored by the PA AAP chapter is focusing on adolescent health issues for 3 months (teleconferences are held every month except for June, July and August). In April 2005, the topic of the CME teleconference was on adolescent immunizations. The topic for May was on eating disorders, ranging from anorexia to obesity, and in September, when the sessions resume, the topic will be on sexually transmitted diseases. For more information contact, Suzanne Yunghans, AAP PA Executive Director, at syunghans@paaap.org, or Pam Murray, MD, MPH, at Pamela.Murray@chp.edu.


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Last Updated 2/07