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Sustainable Support: Building Partnerships between Education Agencies and Public Health Partners to Improve Adolescent S...

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Sustainable Support: Building Partnerships between Education Agencies and Public Health Partners to Improve Adolescent Sexual Health Ritter, Samantha,

PROJECT PURPOSE The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Adolescent and School Health’s (DASH) new initiative, Expanding Partnerships to Reduce HIV and other STDs among Adolescents through National Non-Governmental Organizations (PS161603), was created to increase communication of CDC approaches to school-based HIV and STD prevention programs for adolescents (10-19 years old) through partnerships with national organizations that have broad public health reach. The initiative aims to increase collaboration between education and public health partners on a national level, and to replicate such coalition building at the local level, combining subject matter expertise with the authority and strategy of decision-makers to reduce HIV and STDs through school-based programs. Advocates for Youth, National Association of County and City Health Officials, National Coalition of STD Directors, and School-Based Health Alliance were funded to implement this initiative jointly, and they invited additional partners with constituencies and/or expertise that contribute significantly to the implementation of the CDC-developed school-based approaches.

PROJECT GOALS • Expand collaboration between CDC and national education and public health partners • Strengthen community capacity to implement the CDC-

a MPH ;

Mackey, Suzanne,

b MPH ;

McBride, Brittany

c MPH ;


CDC-DEVELOPED SCHOOL-BASED APPROACHES Over 90 percent of adolescents attend public or private school for at least 6 hours a day during critical years of their social and physical development, making schools key partners in shaping students’ health knowledge and behaviors1. The school-based approaches reduce adolescent sexual risk behaviors and HIV, STDs, and unintended teen pregnancy while strengthening communities. Health Education Emphasizes planned, sequential learning across elementary, middle, and high school grade levels – as well as the use of grade-specific lessons and materials that are medically accurate and developmentally and culturally responsive – to help adolescents obtain the essential knowledge and critical skills needed to prevent HIV, other STDs, and unintended pregnancy.

Health Services Facilitates access to critical health services including HIV and STD testing and treatment, contraceptive services, pregnancy testing, condom provision, human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and anticipatory guidance and health counseling2.

•Well-designed and -implemented health education programs can decrease sexual risk behaviors among adolescents, including: delayed initiation of sexual activity, reduced number of sex partners, and increased condom use.

• School-based or school-linked services are more accessible to adolescents, who face unique barriers when seeking HIV and STD prevention services such as cost, transportation, stigma, concerns about confidentiality, and conflicting clinic hours and school and work schedules.

d Lillian

RECOMMENDATIONS Partnerships are trending in public health due to a number of factors, including the sharing of limited resources and clear evidence that cross-sector buy-in and shared ownership lead to better outcomes. The most impactful partnerships are strategic in their representation and the tools and methods they utilize in collaborating. The PS16-1603 Partnership has the following recommendations to strengthen partnerships between education agencies and public health partners:

Identify gaps and needs and then select partners, not the other way around.

Take a collaborative approach to strengthen partner participation, ownership, and branding.

Develop memoranda of understanding or other formal documentation to outline roles/ responsibilities.

developed school-based approaches • Increase dissemination of CDC-developed school-based approaches


National Association of County and City Health Officials, [email protected] School-Based Health Alliance, [email protected] Advocates for Youth, [email protected] National Coalition of STD Directors, [email protected] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/about/hivstd_prevention.htm https://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/fundedpartners/1308/pdf/program_guidance _final.pdf

Safe and Supportive Environments Promotes and provides safe and supportive district and school policies and practices to create positive learning and teaching environments for students and school staff by: 1) preventing bullying and harassment, including electronic aggression; 2) promoting school connectedness; and 3) promoting parent engagement in schools.

• Perpetrators and victims of bullying and sexual harassment are more likely to have casual sex or sex under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, while adolescents who feel connected to their schools are more likely to have fewer sexual partners, use condoms, and delay first sexual intercourse.

Develop a mission, vision, and values through a collaborative approach.

Communicate openly & frequently.

Speak the same language.

Develop requirements and process for consensus & dispute resolution. Consider Technology of Participation®, the WISE Capacity and Assessment Planning Tool, and the Office of Adolescent Health Sustainability Framework.

Use evidence-based tools and methods to maximize participation & strengthen the partnership through jointly-developed tools.