Arizona’s Adolescent Champion Model

Adolescents have health care needs that are different than those of other age groups. Increasing access to high quality, youth-friendly care plays a key role in empowering adolescent patients to establish lifelong health behaviors. In early 2018, AFHP received a grant from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to replicate the award-winning Adolescent Champion Model with the goal of improving health care delivery for adolescents.

Developed by the University of Michigan’s Adolescent Health Initiative (AHI), the Adolescent Champion Model is a multi-faceted intervention that ensures all aspects of a visit to a health center are youth-centered. With the goal of improving the experience of teen patients, the model assesses a health center’s environment, policies, practices, and culture to identify and address barriers to optimal health service. Adolescent Champion Teams in the health center then participate in tailored capacity-building to reduce barriers to change and increase opportunities for success.

Since 2013, the evidence-based model has been implemented at over 60 health centers around the country with laudable results. Adolescent Champion health centers have shown significant improvement in adolescent patient satisfaction, staff perception of adolescent-centered care within their clinic, and provider comfort and confidence in caring for adolescents. Adolescent Champion health centers also report greater youth engagement in health services, with improvements in the number of adolescent preventive care and behavioral health visits.

AFHP is very excited to be replicating the model for the first time in Arizona with support from ADHS, AHI, and Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Dr. Veenod Chulani, Section Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Phoenix Children’s Hospital serves as the Clinical Consultant on the project. The following health centers are participating in Cohort 1, which began August 2018 and will conclude January 2020:

Interested in learning more? Two additional cohorts will take place through 2020. Do you provide primary care services? Do you want to strengthen your team’s ability to provide youth-friendly care? Take the first step toward improving adolescent care in your practice. Email or call Tracy Pedrotti (602-688-6260) for more information. Stay updated on this work, and receive tips, tricks, and tools for working with adolescents by signing up for our monthly #TeenHealthTuesday newsletter.

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