Teen pregnancy rates in Massachusetts are lower these days than in the past, but there is still more that can be done to reduce them. For over ten years, the Institute for Community Health (ICH) has worked in partnership with the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, a non-profit organization that supports communities seeking evidence-based solutions to the complex issues associated with teen pregnancy.
This successful partnership has entered a new era with the award of a five-year federal grant – the Youth First project. The goal of the grant, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to assist the Western Massachusetts communities of Springfield and Holyoke in reducing their rates of teen pregnancy through using effective community-wide strategies to enhance access to quality sexual health education and reproductive health services. Youth First is an initiative that is guided by the community – in the first year of the grant, ICH has worked in collaboration with Youth First’s lead organizations, the Alliance and the YEAH! Network, as well as numerous local organizations and community members, including young people themselves.
ICH’s partnership with the MATP on the Youth First Initiative was recently profiled in an ICH quarterly newsletter article. For the full article, click here.