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ACT Youth Network presents to New York State agencies

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NYC ACT Youth Network at Youth Development Team Meeting in Albany

Since 1998, the New York State Youth Development Team (YD Team), a public-private partnership of 30 leading statewide agencies and youth-serving organizations, has been dedicated to promoting the health and well being of adolescents in our state. The YD Team has provided leadership that integrates positive youth development practices and principles into New York State services and supports intended for youth, families, schools, and communities.

The ACT for Youth Center of Excellence (COE) provides ongoing support to the YD Team, who hold meetings three times a year in Albany. Partners share cutting edge research findings, best practice information, and resources to help coordinate state and community youth development efforts.

For the past three years, the team has held an annual Youth Meeting, inviting diverse groups of young people from across the state to make presentations on issues that impact their lives. Led by COE staff Sara Birnel Henderson and Michele Luc, five members of the ACT Youth Network travelled from New York City to Albany and presented to the YD Team at their July 17th meeting. Youth Network members, who act as consultants to the COE and the NYS Department of Health (among others), reported on the projects in which they have been involved, including

  • reviewing website content to assure its youth friendliness;
  • developing and testing focus group questions on health topics;
  • and observing educators implementing evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs to provide feedback for quality improvement.

The ACT Youth Network is available to consult on noncommercial services, products, media campaigns, and research designed for youth. Contact Sara Birnel Henderson to discuss your project.

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BCTR at the American Public Health Association annual meeting


Jennifer Tiffany and Mary Maley

Jennifer Tiffany and Mary Maley

Jennifer Tiffany and Mary Maley presented papers at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting, held in Boston, November 2-6, 2013 and attended by approximately 13,000 public health professionals and stakeholders.

Jennifer Tiffany's paper, Context matters: Setting-level influences on active program participation and HIV risk reduction among urban youth (co-authored by Deinera Exner-Cortens, Mary Maley, Sara Birnel Henderson, and John Eckenrode) was part of a panel on Social-Ecological Supports for Reproductive Health Among Diverse Populations of Adolescents and Young Adults sponsored by APHA's Maternal and Child Health section.

Mary Maley's paper, 'It's just a piece of paper': Teen perceptions of orders of protection for dating violence was part of a panel on Issues in Family Violence: Policy, Prevention, and Intervention, also sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health section. It was co-authored by Jane Powers, Deinera Exner-Cortens, Sara Birnel Henderson, and Jennifer Tiffany.

Work from two BCTR projects were also presented:  Evaluating the implementation of evidence-based programs that promote adolescent sexual health: Lessons learned from New York State (Jane Powers, Christine Heib, Amanda Purington, and Mary Maley) and the poster Partnering with homeless youth to study the scope and nature of youth homelessness (Jane Powers, Christine Heib, and Amanda Purington).

The theme of this year's annual meeting was "Think global, act local: Best practices around the world" and included a rollout of the APHA's media campaign "We can do better" (video) aimed at building health equity as well as confronting and eliminating health disparities. This was the 141st annual meeting of the APHA, whose mission is to "improve the health of the public and achieve equity in health status" and whose new tag line is "For science. For action. For health."


Complementary Strengths findings presented at World AIDS Conference


Jennifer TiffanyJennifer Tiffany presented results from the Complementary Strengths Research Partnership at the 19th World AIDS Conference in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 as part of a panel on Young People, HIV, and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services.

The paper, co-authored with John Eckenrode, Deinera Exner-Cortens, and Sara Birnel-Henderson and titled Active Program Participation and HIV Risk Reduction among Urban Youth, highlighted the new measure of youth program participation generated by the study; significant positive associations among program participation, social connectedness, and HIV risk reduction scores; possible impacts of average setting-level participation scores on individual youth risk reduction practices; and connections between longer program involvement increased impact of youth participation on risk reduction practices.

The panel was chaired by two youth HIV activists:

Cristina Jade Peña
Story on Cristina
Video on Cristina

Pablo Torres Aguilera
Story on Pablo
Video on Pablo

Other papers on the panel addressed community development programs and anti-retroviral therapy for youth in Zimbabwe, national adolescent HIV prevention strategies in 20 countries with high HIV prevalence rates, and strategies to make programs focused on pregnancy prevention and HIV risk reduction work in tandem.

The Complementary Strengths Research Project is supported in part by award #R21NR009764 from the NIH/National Institute of Nursing Research and by USDA grant #NYC-323442-0219950. The content of the report is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institutes of Health, or the USDA.