Teenwise Minnesota

Teenwise Minnesota January 2013 E-Monthly

Teenwise Minnesota Announcements

Teenwise Seeking Board Members

Are you enthusiastic about Teenwise Minnesota's mission: "that all young people are sexual healthy"? Teenwise is recruiting individuals to serve on the Board of Directors. As a board member, you will have the opportunity to set organizational policy and ensure its continuity; carry out short- and long-term planning efforts; and help cultivate funds for the organization and ensure financial accountability. It's also a great way to network and gain new skills. If you interested in applying—or just want more information—contact Judith Kahn, Executive Director at 651-289-1382 or judith@teenwisemn.org.

Teenwise MN Annual ConferenceSave the Date!

If you haven't done so already, please remember to save the date for the 22nd Teenwise Minnesota Annual Conference, to be held on May 2-3, 2013 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. This year's conference features three extraordinary keynotes: Suzanne Koepplinger, Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center; Mia Mingus, Program Director of generation Five; and Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Temple University. Registration opens at the beginning of March. Stay tuned for further conference updates!

Teenwise Minnesota Annual Award Nominations

Each year, Teenwise Minnesota honors individuals, agencies, policy makers and programs that make outstanding contributions towards the promotion of adolescent sexual health, pregnancy prevention and parenting in Minnesota. There are four annual awards categories: Outstanding Individual, Teen(s), Judy Ojeda Community Partner and Collaboration or Agency of the Year. Please let us know about those that deserve to be recognized by their peers. With your help, we can honor the remarkable efforts going on throughout the state. Nominations are due by March 15, 2013. Click here for the nomination form.

Call for Exhibitors for Teenwise Minnesota's 2013 Conference, May 2-3, 2013

Please join us as an exhibitor for Teenwise Minnesota's Annual Conference, May 2-3, 2013 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center. The Teenwise Minnesota Conference convenes approximately 350 social service and health care providers, educators, advocates, program directors and youth who work to promote adolescent sexual health, prevent adolescent pregnancy, HIV and STIs, and support pregnant and parenting teens in Minnesota. Click here for more information and an application.


Other Announcements

A Tremendous Loss for the Field of Adolescent Sexual Health

It is with sadness that Teenwise Minnesota passes along the news of the death of Dr. Douglas Kirby. Dr. Kirby, a senior research scientist at ETR associates, was one of the world's leading experts on school and community programs to reduce sexual risk taking. His career was dedicated to promoting sexual and reproductive health among young people through his writing, teaching, and research. Dr. Kirby died of a heart attack on December 22, 2012 while climbing Cotopaxi in Ecuador. He was 69. He is survived by his wife Gail, daughter Kathryn, son Cameron, and brother Robion Kirby.  Donations in Dr. Kirby's memory can be made to Zambia Orphans of AIDS. Read tributes to Dr. Kirby and add your own here.

Dr. Kirby's legacy of evidence-based practice and sexual health promotion lives on among many Minnesota practitioners who had the good fortune to hear Dr. Kirby's keynote presentation at Teenwise Minnesota's 15th Annual Conference (2006). Dr. Kirby's keynote PowerPoint, entitled "25 Years of Pregnancy Prevention: Reflections on Lessons Learned, Progress Made and the Promise for the Future," as well as his workshop presentations, "New Research, New Conclusions: Sex and HIV Education Programs that Work" and "Finding Common Ground: Appropriate Messages about Sex for Youth" can be viewed here.

For Youth

Teen Safety Plan

The organization Futures Without Violence has released a document entitled "Create a Teen Safety Plan", the purpose of which is to inform young people of their right to violence free relationships. In addition, tips on how to safely extricate oneself from a potentially dangerous situation and resources are provided.

In the News

Nation's First-Ever Standardized Test on Health and Sex Ed

The Washington Post recently published an article detailing the results of the nation's first standardized test on health and sex-ed, which was administered to over 11,000 Washington DC public school students last spring. The 50 question test was taken by 5th graders, 8th graders and high school students. Overall, students correctly answered 62% of questions relating to disease prevention and sex education; a better percentage of correct answers than test scores for math and reading.

New Resources

Two New State-Specific Resources on Adolescent Sexual Health

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy offers an online data portal allowing visitors to view state-specific data on rates of teen pregnancy, birth, use of contraception and more. Information is broken down by age, gender and race/ethnicity. A summary profile of each of the fifty states is also accessible.

The Guttmacher Institute has also launched a new tool that offers state-specific indicators related to unintended pregnancy.

Two New Policy Briefs from the National Campaign

Key Points About Teen Pregnancy Prevention
To address confusion and misconceptions about evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs, federal funding for these programs, and the efficacy of particular approaches to preventing teen pregnancy, The National Campaign has released a brief addressing these and other related questions.

The Direct Medical Costs of Unplanned Pregnancy
The National Campaign has released a brief summarizing available research about the medical costs of unplanned pregnancy as well as the role that improved access to contraception can have in preventing unplanned pregnancies and the potential cost savings that result.

New Research

Can Social Media Promote Safe Sex?

New research from the American Journal of Preventative Medicine shows mixed results when high-risk teenagers are targeted with online public health initiatives. Youth are using social media regularly and represent a group facing substantial risk for sexually transmitted infections (STI). The authors conclude that social networking sites may be venues for effıcacious health education interventions. More work is needed to understand what elements of social media are compelling, how network membership influences effects, and whether linking social media to clinical and social services can be benefıcial.

Teaching Healthy Relationships to Youth in Foster Care

A new report from Child Trends focuses on relationship education for youth in foster care. Research suggests that having the skills to manage intimate partner relationships can help youth make better decisions related to school, employment, pregnancy prevention, and establishing strong, constructive relationships. Growing attention is being paid to whether improving relationship education for youth currently in foster care can help improve their outcomes.

Based on the authors' understanding of the program needs of youth in foster care, combined with recommendations provided by relationship education experts, program practitioners, youth, and government leaders about how best to serve youth in foster care, they suggest a tiered approach to program services, where relationship education services are integrated into existing services or combined with related interventions such as teen pregnancy prevention or youth development programs.

The Long-Term Impact of Teen Dating Violence

A new study published in the journal Pediatrics provides evidence of long term impact on teens that experience dating violence. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, teens between the ages of 12 and 18 reporting experiences of dating violence were identified and then assessed five years later. As compared to young people who reported no experiences of teen dating violence, members of the study group reported higher rates of depression, antisocial behaviors, suicidal ideation, substance use (drinking and marijuana) and adult intimate partner violence (IPV).

Adolescent Parents and Their Children: Policy and Practice Update

A new clinical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, published in the journal Pediatrics, addresses the question of how best to provide care to teen parents and their children. A previous policy position is updated, an assessment made of the risk factors associated with this population and suggestions provided as to potentially effective models and practices.

Teen Childbearing and the Predictive Power of Literacy

Research published in the journal Contraception details the findings of a large study examining the link between literacy levels as a pre-teen and teen childbearing. Reading levels as assessed by the performance on standardized tests of 12,000 girls in the Philadelphia school system were linked to later teen birth data. Girls with a lower-than-average reading level were found to be two and a half times more likely to have children as teens when compared to those with average literacy levels.

Oral Health of Pregnant and Parenting Adolescent Females

Oral health may plan an important role in the general health of adolescents who are pregnant and parenting. However, little is known about the socio-behavioral and environmental experiences that may affect the adolescent woman's oral health and quality of life. This study, published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, found four themes that emerged from the oral health data: perceptions, knowledge and practices, myths and misconceptions, and values. Authors conclude that nurses may play a key role in improving the oral health status of adolescents who are pregnant and parenting. Oral health should be a routine part of every general health assessment.

Teens' Sexual Behavior May Not Predict Reproductive Health Outcomes in Adulthood

Findings from a new study suggest that most teens' first sexual experiences may not be as strongly linked to reproductive health outcomes later in life as previously thought, according to a new study published in Perspectives on Sexual & Reproductive Health. The authors found that the most frequent pattern of sexual behavior during adolescence involved initiation of vaginal sex and then another behavior (typically oral sex) within two years. When compared with young adults reporting this pattern of behavior, only those teens who had postponed sexual activity were consistently less likely to have poor reproductive health outcomes and engage in sexual risk-taking in young adulthood, even when demographic and other important characteristics were controlled for. However, the authors caution that the "postponer" category of teens is not typical, making up fewer than one in 10 American teens. The findings suggest that teen sexual behavior in and of itself does not negatively affect future well-being. The authors recommend more research into understanding how various sexual behaviors interact and lead to healthy sexual development as teens develop into young adults.

Clinical Services to Provide Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive Services to Adolescents

A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health found that facilities with a reproductive health focus were better able to meet the contraceptive needs of their younger clients—by incorporating youth-friendly service delivery, being accessible and ensuring confidentiality—than were primary care-focused facilities. Additionally, facilities with more youth-friendly services offered more long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), including the IUD and implant. Most facilities provided the IUD (82%) and implant (65%) to patients on-site. However, those that received Title X funding and those that were reproductive health-focused more commonly reported discussing IUDs and implants with teens and young adults and having staff trained on both LARC methods than their primary care-focused counterparts.

Clinic administrators reported several challenges to providing LARC services to younger clients, including the cost of the methods, inconvenient clinic hours, and staff concerns about IUD use among teens. However, current standards of care relating to LARC methods show that these methods are safe, effective and acceptable for teens and young adults, including those with no children. This research suggests that misperceptions about the methods persist among some providers.

Depo-Provera Use Not Associated with Increased STI Risk Among Adolescents

This research, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, aimed to determine whether use of Depo-Provera is associated with an increased risk of acquisition of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a cohort of healthy adolescents. Analyses found no significant associations between Depo use and incidence of Chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomoniasis. The only factor significantly associated with an increased risk of contracting all three STIs was a greater number of sexual partners. The authors recommend that efforts to curb STI transmission among adolescents should focus on education about reducing the number of sexual partners.

Teenwise Minnesota Events

February 12-13, 2013
Safer Sex Intervention: Training of Educators

Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis

The Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) is an evidence based program aimed at reducing high-risk sexual behaviors, increasing condom use and preventing the recurrence of an STI among sexually active young women. SSI is implemented in one-to-one sessions between a female educator and female client. In this training, participants will examine the theoretical elements of the program as well as the research establishing its efficacy. A portion of the two days is devoted to learning and practicing Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills crucial to effective implementation. This training is a very "hands-on" experience, with plenty of opportunities to practice delivering components of the curriculum. Participants will leave with the skills and knowledge necessary to implement SSI with fidelity in their own setting.

For more information and to register, see the flyer and registration form (PDF). Click here to register online. Questions? Contact David Kurtzon at: 651-2891383 or david@teenwisemn.org.

February 26-28, 2013
Teen Outreach Program: Training of Educators

Location: TBD

In this three day training, participants will immerse themselves in the Wyman Teen Outreach Program (TOP), a nationally acclaimed science based program designed to prevent adolescent pregnancy and help young people succeed in school. Tailored for use with youth in grades 6th through 12th, TOP combines an innovative curriculum with a strong service-learning component. Participants will explore the research behind TOP, learn the fundamental components of the curriculum and develop an understanding of community service learning and how to successfully integrate it into the intervention.

For more information and to register, please see the flyer and registration form (PDF). To register online, click here. Questions? Contact David Kurtzon at: 651-289-1383 or david@teenwisemn.org.

Other Events

January 25, 2013
Teens and Sexuality—What's New Beyond the Birds and the Bees?

7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
Minnesota Department of Health Snelling Office Park
1645 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul

Panelists and forum participants will focus their discussion on the topic of teenage sexuality in a forum sponsored by the Minnesota Public Health Association. Topics will include encouraging healthy social relationships, the role of social media as a contact point for exploitation, the controversies surrounding the HPV vaccine, and the rise of sexually transmitted diseases among teens. For more information, see the flyer (PDF).

February 1-2, 2013
Hepatitis C Educator Training

Friday, February 1: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 2: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Minnesota AIDS Project
1400 Park Avenue, Minneapolis

Hepatitis C is the most common co-infection in those living with HIV. Compared to the 7,136 people living with HIV in Minnesota, our state has over 37,000 people living with a past or present hepatitis C infection. The Minnesota AIDS Project TEACH program is inviting current HIV educators to attend a booster training to become a hepatitis C educator. Many of the at-risk populations targeted by HIV educators would also receive benefit from up-to-date, accurate information on hepatitis C.

This 1.5 day training will provide in-depth education on hepatitis C transmission, prevention, testing and treatment options. Participants will be given the opportunity to teach-back the information they have learned in a small group setting. Participants will also be provided with games and curriculum modules to present this information in a community setting. Space is limited to 30 people. To reserve your spot, contact Bonnie Rossow at bonnie.rossow@mnaidsproject.org.

February 6-7, 2013
Partnering with Teen Parents

Parents as Teachers-Minnesota Regional Office
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul

This newly revised two-day session is for all professionals who work with teen parents. It offers constructive insights into teen parents, their children and the issues they all face. Topics include:

  • Adolescent brain development and the developmental characteristics unique to adolescents
  • Parallel developmental needs of both teen parent and child
  • Practical parenting principles that contribute to healthy lifestyles for teen parents and their children
  • Techniques to enhance teen parents' feelings of confidence and competence and strategies to help them transition into adulthood
  • Strategies to address the special family dynamics and multigenerational issues teen parents face
  • Strategies to facilitate father involvement
  • Partnering strategies for personal visits and parent group connection

For more information and to register, visit www.parentsasteachers.org or contact Jennifer Barshack at jennifer.barshack@parentsasteachers.org, 651-233-2280.



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Teenwise Minnesota is the statewide leader in promoting adolescent sexual health, preventing adolescent pregnancy and gaining support for adolescent parents. We achieve this by developing, strengthening and advancing science-based policies and programs.

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