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.