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Adult & Child Health Receives Silver Adolescent-Centered Environment Certification From The Adolescent Health Initiative

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Adult & Child Health is proud to announce successful completion of the Adolescent Champion Model and certification as a silver adolescent-centered health center.

The Adolescent Champion Model, developed and facilitated by the Adolescent Health Initiative out of the University of Michigan, is an intervention designed to address a health center’s environment, policies, and practices to ensure that all aspects of a patient’s visit are adolescent-centered. Through the Champion Model, health centers receive guidance and training on improving their practices, policies, culture, and environment to support adolescent health while also participating in a community of practice with other health centers.

“A&C strives to serve our clients with compassion to provide services for physical, social, and behavioral health. Becoming silver-certified adds another level to this care. Many of our team cares for adolescents regularly and their voices are just as important as their adult counterparts,” said Sarah Iwinski-Wallace, Lead Coordinator of Adult & Child’s Youth Development Program.

During adolescence, youth experience disproportionately high rates of mental health issues, substance use, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintentional injuries that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Consequently, the health care needs of adolescents are unique from other patient populations. Young people may avoid accessing the services they need for various reasons including concerns around confidentiality, fear of judgment, and inconvenient hours and location.

The Adolescent Champion Model allows Adult & Child to create a space that is welcoming for all ages. With the changes, patients can expect to see welcoming art that was created by local youth (pictured), a space for youth to color and play in the waiting area, sexual health packs that can be taken after appointments, privacy in each exam room with sound machines, hygiene items provided to those in need, and a LGBTQ+ safe environment.

Adolescent-centered spaces effectively provide comprehensive services for adolescents, ensuring that they feel well cared for. An adolescent-centered environment is inclusive of, informed by, and responsive to the needs and values of adolescents.

“With this certification, we can amplify youth voices in the health care clinics and to provide training to our team to best support adolescents and their families,” said Wallace. “The adolescent-centered environment is just another way A&C continues to support the community and clients that we serve.”

Adult & Child Health is an accredited nonprofit primary care, behavioral health, and social services provider with multiple locations in central Indiana.  We strive for caring communities, where every child, adult and family have the opportunities they need to live healthy, happy, productive lives. For more information about Adult & Child Health programs, please contact Cate Porter, Marketing & Communication Manager, at 317-882-5122.

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Sarah Miller, PMHNP-BC

Sarah Miller works with the addictions team, general psychiatry for adolescents and adults, and the competency restoration team. She is board-certified as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Her specialties are working in addictions and with people who experience serious mental illness.

Miller graduated from Indiana University with a psychology degree and went back to school for nursing. She received her nursing degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and worked in a nursing home and also spent time working in a group home with adolescents. She received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt University.

She enjoys hanging out with her family and her two dogs, and going to sporting events.

Joanna Chambers, MD

Dr. Joanna Chambers is a psychiatrist who began seeing Adult & Child Health patients in November 2021. She graduated from Medical College of Georgia with her Doctorate of Medicine in 1996 and completed her residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine. In addition to bringing a wealth of experience, she currently serves as an associate professor at Indiana University School of Medicine where she teaches Clinical Psychiatry. She is certified in Addiction Medicine and has a special interest in treating pregnant and postpartum women. She is President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry Organization as well as a sitting member of many medical association boards. Recently, she has won the Residents’ Award for Teaching Excellence in 2020 from Indiana University and has received “Best Doctors Award” in 2010, 2011, and 2014. Dr. Chambers is incredibly active in the medical, academic, and research realms of medicine. She is currently accepting new patients on Wednesdays.