Healthcare Providers

Hope Buffalo and the Role of healthcare providers

Healthcare providers are on the front lines of ensuring adolescent health and wellness. Because adolescents don’t seek out preventive healthcare services in high numbers, providers should take every opportunity to make sure adolescents receive recommended clinical preventive services, including immunizations, screening and counseling about behaviors. This includes identifying reproductive health needs and providing access to STI/HIV screening and treatment and contraception.

In fact, 77 percent of the decline in nationwide teen pregnancy rates among 15 to 17 year olds, and 100 percent among 18 to 19 year olds, are credited to increased contraceptive use.

“As healthcare providers, we are also advocates for our adolescent and young adult patients’ health. Our adolescents and young adults deserve our guidance about contraception and STI/HIV care. They rarely ask, but they frequently thank us for this game-changer information.”

–Gale Burstein, MD, MPH, FAAP

“As healthcare providers, we are also advocates for our adolescent and young adult patients’ health. Our adolescents and young adults deserve our guidance about contraception and STI/HIV care. They rarely ask, but they frequently thank us for this game-changer information.”

–Gale Burstein, MD, MPH, FAAP

what can you do?

The lives of the young people visiting your practice change rapidly. That is why it is important to take time at every visit to check in about their need for contraception or STI/HIV testing. If you don’t ask, it is unlikely that they will speak up.

Take these steps today in your practice to implement a “no wrong doors, no missed opportunities” approach to care:

  • Make healthcare office friendly and welcoming to teens
  • Consider adolescents when selecting décor, furniture and reading materials
  • Provide take-home information in formats that can be conveniently tucked in wallets or purses discreetly, and offer information in private settings
  • Set office hours to accommodate busy school schedules
  • Train all staff, including clerical and paraprofessionals, in how to welcome and interact with adolescent
  • Provide gender-neutral, single-stall restrooms that provide privacy and respect for all youth and that does not force youth to use a restroom that conflicts with their gender identity
  • Ensure staff is trained on cultural competency, including how to work with LGBTQ youth
  • Establish systems to identify and refer youth to behavioral and supportive services

Take these steps to ensure access to information and care that promotes sexual and reproductive health:

  • Get or update confidential contact information at every visit
  • Identify and populate your electronic health record (EHR) that includes a sexual health history
  • Provide time alone with healthcare providers at every visit
  • Train medical assistants to ask or identify need for sexual health services at every visit
  • Use a standardized screening form, or ask questions that identify sexual activity, at every visit
  • Get urine specimen at registration for possible STI or pregnancy testing at every visit
  • Do not require a pelvic exam before providing contraception or testing for STI/HIV unless clinically indicated
  • Use the Quick Start (same-day) method to initiate birth control
  • Ensure that long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods (IUD, Implants) are available to adolescents
  • Make emergency contraception (EC) available (including emergent and advance provision)
  • Provide routine Pap smear screening starting at age 21, unless otherwise indicated
  • Promote condom use for STI/HIV prevention

resources

SCREENING FOR SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs) & HIV

COMMUNITY PARTNERS and PROVIDERS

E-Learning Hub

The CAP E-Learning Program is designed to support your healthcare team in gaining the knowledge and skills to deliver quality, client-centered and culturally competent contraceptive services to women, teens and LGBTQ youth. These courses are available at no cost for healthcare providers who are part of the HOPE Buffalo initiative. Please ask your HOPE Buffalo team for your promo code to access the e-learning modules for free, including free CME and CNE credits.

PATCH for HOPE Buffalo

PATCH (Providers and Teens Communicating for Health) is an innovative, youth-driven program working to ensure all youth are able to receive high-quality, youth-friendly healthcare services.

TAKE THE PLEDGE

As a member of the Buffalo community, I commit to the aspirations of the HOPE Buffalo initiative to help our teens grow into the adults they want to be. Collectively, we can build a promising future for the City of Buffalo!

640 Ellicott St, Suite 476 Buffalo, NY 14203

This publication was made possible by Grant number 6 TP1AH000106-03-01 from the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Adolescent Health.

CAI in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) to focus on improving the lives and opportunities for adolescents by facilitating and resourcing a community-driven response to reduce teen pregnancy in nine selected zip codes in Buffalo.

Cicatelli Associates Inc.

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