205098 W.A.T.E.R. Working to Aid Teenagers Entering Reproduction: A model for coalition building among service providers targeting current and future adolescent mothers

Monday, November 9, 2009

Aaron L. Cook, MPH, 2010 , School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Eliza Little, MPH 2010 , School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Hven, CT
Camellia A. Mortezazadeh, MPH , School of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Hven, CT
Issues: Pregnant teenagers often face significant barriers in accessing services within their communities. As a result, infants born to adolescent mothers are more likely to be low birth weight, experience developmental and cognitive delays, and ultimately to become teenage parents themselves. Following the goals of Healthy People 2010, W.A.T.E.R. aims to establish recommendations for sustainable coalition building among community-based service providers in multicultural New Britain, Connecticut. Description: In order to enumerate and characterize the services currently available, multilevel key informant interviews were conducted within the community using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Focus groups served to incorporate attitudes and perceptions of need from key stakeholders including current and future teenage mothers. Synthesis of this data was used to engage leading community service providers to establish a more cohesive network with the goal of bridging existing gaps between urgent community needs and future service development. A strategic map of service providers in the region in addition to asset analysis at the agency-level function as the cornerstone of the model. Lessons learned: To create long-lasting, sustainable change on a community level it is essential to empower service providers to take ownership of the development and implementation of new, innovative solutions. In depth investigation is required for a successful model to adequately incorporate all influential community-level factors. Recommendations: In order to promote increased access and utilization of existing public resources for disenfranchised groups such as pregnant adolescents, it is necessary to strengthen communication between service providers and establish cohesive networks through coalition building.

Learning Objectives:
Identify key service providers targeting pregnant teenagers in order to work to build a sustainable network of resources in an urban setting. Assess the feasibility of utilizing key informant interviews in addition to focus groups in establishing the foundational knowledge necessary to engage community members to take leadership roles in collaborating with their peers. Formulate a reliably replicable model aimed at instigating change and coalition building among community-based organizations working with pregnant adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Pregnancy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Yale School of Public Health MPH Program Class: Community Program Planning UC Berkeley, BA Public Health
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.