Improving Adolescent Health Through State-level Collaborative Initiatives


Topic: Mental 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 team from Texas decided to focus its efforts on adolescent mental health issues. The original Texas team has remained active, engaging the interest of the Texas Commissioner of Health in their Texas Adolescent Mental Health in Primary Care Initiative. From a limited survey of graduate medical education programs in the state, the level of instruction in mental health for pediatric residents was identified as less than desired. To address this need, the team has successfully proposed continuing medical education programs at the Texas Pediatric Society meeting for September 2005. The team has grown to include a multi-disciplinary group including officials from the Texas Department of State Health Services. At their January 2005 meeting, a sub-committee was appointed to review various mental health and substance abuse screening tools to recommend one that can be used practically and efficiently in a primary care office. Another subcommittee was given the task of considering several proposed sites and recommending one as a pilot site for the implementation of this tool. The team met in May 2005, and discussed the recommendations of the subcommittees, chose a screening tool and selected potential pilot sites. An appointed planning subcommittee will report to the group at their next meeting scheduled in the Summer, on how to best introduce, prepare and establish screening and management at pilot sites. For more information about the Texas Adolescent Mental Health in Primary Care Initiative contact Manuel Schydlower, MD, at Manuel.Schydlower@TTUHSC.EDU.

Topic: Mental Health

Wounded Warrior's Children - A Medical Home
Provision for exemplary standard of care for adolescent and pediatric community members whose family members have been wounded in the Global War on Terrorism - focusing on mental health, psychosocial functioning and physical well being. For more information contact CPT Jennifer Knight at

Topic: Substance Abuse

SBIRT represents the research-based state-of-the-art public health approach to effective Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment services in the medical home setting for patients who have or are at risk for problems with substance abuse. Project SBIRT- South Texas Area Residency Training, a 5-year program through US DHHS- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - Award #1U79TI020249, has a mission to train a multidisciplinary cadre of resident physicians (many subsequently practicing in the South Texas region), including pediatricians, in SBIRT detection and management of patients with or at risk for substance use.

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Last Updated 7/11

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