Adolescence is a critical stage of development during which foundations for healthy behaviors in adulthood are established. These foundations have long-term implications for a successful future and are impacted by a complex interplay of physical, emotional and social, and environmental factors. At the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP), we believe that individuals working with youth need enhanced opportunities for strategic and collective action that has lasting impact on adolescent's health and wellbeing.

Arizona's Adolescent Champion Model

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. By partnering with the Adolescent Health Initiative to implement the Adolescent Champion Model, we aim to ensure positive healthcare experiences that reflect and respond to the needs of youth. Utilizing this evidence-based intervention with support from Clinical Consultant Dr. Veenod "Vinny" Chulani, Section Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Phoenix Children's Hospital, AFHP partners with healthcare providers to address a health center's environment, policies, practices, and culture to overcome barriers to providing high quality services to adolescents.

Mountain Park Health Center
Chiricahua Community Health Centers Inc

The first 18-month cohort to replicate the model in Arizona concluded January 2020, with all three health centers achieving Gold Level Certification as an Adolescent-Centered Environment! Mountain Park Gateway Clinic, Valleywise Comprehensive Health Center, and Chiricahua Community Health Center's mobile clinic completed all program requirements and 11 best practice strategies for providing high quality health care to adolescents. Clinicians that participated in the model indicated increased confidence regarding their ability to discuss sensitive subjects and to recognize behavioral health issues in their adolescent patients. At year-end, they are also discussing the protections and limitations of confidentiality more often and empowering adolescents to be involved in their own health management.

Seven health centers in Peoria, Oro Valley, Phoenix, and Scottsdale are currently participating in the second cohort. This includes Adelante Peoria, MCH Oro Valley Pediatrics, Mountain Park Maryvale, Native Health, NOAH Heuser Family Medicine, Phoenix Children's Hospital, and Wesley Community and Health Center.

Do you provide primary care services? Interested in strengthening your team's ability to provide youth-friendly care? Increasing access to high quality, youth-friendly care plays a key role in empowering adolescent patients to establish lifelong health behaviors. 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 our work, and receive tips, tricks, and tools for working with adolescents from our monthly #TeenHealthTuesday newsletter.


A change I’ve noticed at the clinic is there is a more welcoming environment where I can talk about my sexuality openly.

– Arizona Youth

The Adolescent Champion Model is well laid out, easy to follow and fun to complete. Completing the process left myself, the staff and most importantly, our adolescent patients empowered. Through the process we were able to quickly identify and correct weaknesses in our adolescent care. I love that the model really gives a voice to an often unheard age group. I look forward to continuing to foster a high level of adolescent care and friendliness at our clinic and feel I have the tools and knowledge necessary after completing this wonderful model.

– Arizona Provider

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