State Adolescent Health Resource Center
The State Adolescent Health Resource Center for State MCH Personnel (Center) is located within the Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health at the University of Minnesota. The Center was launched in January 2001 through a Cooperative Agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)
The State Adolescent Health Resource Center for State MCH Personnel (Center) is located within the Konopka Institute for Best Practices in Adolescent Health in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health at the University of Minnesota. The Center was launched in January 2001 through a Cooperative Agreement with the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
To strengthen the knowledge, skills and capacities of state MCH professionals so they can more effectively address and improve the health of adolescents
The Center is accomplishing this mission by working primarily with the State Adolescent Health Coordinators (SAHCs) on two strategies:
- Strengthen states' capacity to address Healthy People 2010 Critical Objectives for Adolescents and Young Adults through approaches grounded in best practices
- Increase states' capacity to develop and strengthen mechanisms to promote healthy youth development and respond to adolescent health-related needs
The Center serves as a resource for adolescent and maternal and child health professionals. While the Center focuses on many aspects of adolescent health, its work revolves around a set of four overlapping activities:
- Adolescent Health Information
The Center provides access to information that is easy to use for planning, developing and implementing adolescent health strategies and programs. Information is disseminated in the form of the quarterly enewsletter, materials and publications posted to this web site, information about state-level activities, links to other web sites and a searchable database.
- Training and Education
These activities focus on building and strengthening the adolescent health skills of SAHCs and other MCH professionals through activities such as workshops and conferences, and distance learning opportunities.
- Convening Stakeholders
Center staff advocate for and represent state adolescent health interests to other national initiatives. In addition, the Center builds connections across the variety of initiatives and systems that play a role in youth development.
- Information campaign
Center staff are working with national partners to develop and provide information on adolescent health issues.
Guiding Principles and Key Partners
There are a number of principles that guide the Center's work.
Adolescent health is defined broadly. Health is more than an absence of disease or poor outcomes - it includes a sense of wholeness, a sense of belonging to a community, and experiencing control over one's circumstances and fate (World Health Organization, 1993; Coalition for Healthier Cities & Communities). It is an optimal state of well-being in all areas of a young person's life - physical, emotional, social and spiritual.
Adolescent health is framed through a healthy youth development perspective. It's not enough to focus solely on those factors that put young people at risk for poor health out-comes. In order for young people to achieve the broader definition of health, we also need to focus on those factors that provide youth with a sense of industry and competency, a sense of control over their life, connectedness to supportive people with high expectations, and a sense of identity.
Strategies are grounded in a public health approach. This approach revolves around the core public health functions and ten essential public health services.
Partnerships are central to the Center's success. Key Partners include:
Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) - Office of Adolescent Health, a federal office within the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Health of the Health Resources Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is their responsibility to coordinate and provide mechanisms for the collaboration of adolescent health activities.
National Adolescent Health Information Center (NAHIC), based at the University of California, San Francisco, seeks to improve the health of adolescents by serving as a national resource for adolescent health information and research, and to assure the integration, synthesis, coordination and dissemination of adolescent health-related information.
Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP) is a national organization representing state public helath leaders and others working to improve the health and well-being of women, children and youth.
State Adolescent Health Coordinators Network (SAHCN) is a formal network of State Adolescent Health Coordinators.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention/Division of Adolescent and School Health's mission is to prevent the most serious health risk behaviors among children, adolescents and young adults.
e-adolescence is a listing of on-line resources for state MCH professionals working to improve adolescent health, safety and well-being. It is made possible by the National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (NIIAH) and produced by the State Adolescent Health Resource Center at the Konopka Institute.
The information shared by e-adolescence is gathered from partners in the National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (NIIAH) and other leading organizations, newsletters and news sources. The resources focus on core adolescent health concerns and also includes data, systems and system capacity references.
To submit a resource, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategic Planning Guide
Improving the Health of Youth - A Guide for State-Level Strategic Planning and Action
This guide is designed to provide tools and practical ideas for developing and implementing an adolescent health strategic plan. It draw from the strategic planning field and the practical experience of state public health professionals who have developed and implemented adolescent health plans.
Suggested citation: Teipel, KD and Brindis, CD (2010). Improving the Health of Youth - A Guide for State-Level Strategic Planning and Action. State Adolescent Health Resource Center, University of Minnesota and National Adolescent Health Information and Innovation Center, University of California, San Francisco.