Online Program

Chlamydia in urban adolescents: Implementation of an on-demand school screening program in Boston, MA

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:06 p.m. - 1:18 p.m.

Patricia Elliott, MPH, DrPH, Dept of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Cindy Engler, RN, MPH, Boston Public Health Commission, Boston, MA
Emily Feinberg, ScD, CPNP, Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Schools provide an underutilized, yet promising setting for screening and treatment programs to reduce the burden of chlamydia among urban adolescents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends yearly screening, yet outpatient clinics continue to have low rates among at-risk youth. The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) has developed an on-demand screening and treatment program within the Boston Public Schools to address the disproportionately high chlamydia rates among Boston teens age 15-19 (4,362 per 100,000 versus 1,310 per 100,000 for the state as a whole). The BPHC pilot program builds upon the experience of other urban health departments that have begun large scale universal screening efforts in high schools, and addresses their limited capacity to screen only once or twice per year. The pilot has integrated screening into the services available in the BPHC Health Resource Centers, previously established to provide health education within the schools. Students are able to request a screening test from a known and trusted health educator at any point throughout the school year. Treatment and further counseling are provided by an experienced BPHC nurse practitioner. A description of the model and lessons learned during the implementation phase demonstrates the potential to meaningfully expand sexual health services to at-risk youth in other urban communities.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current approaches to reduce the burden of chlamydia in urban youth of color nationwide. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an on-demand approach to screening and treating chlamydia within a school setting. Analyze whether a similar program could be created within their community.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, STD

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I worked with the Boston Public Health Commission during the implementation phase of this pilot program as a doctoral candidate at the Boston University School of 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.