Created in 1935, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a national membership organization of over 67,000 pediatricians and child health professionals with a longstanding commitment to children, adolescents and young adults. Through its infrastructure of board-appointed and member-selected national committees and councils, the AAP brings abundant subject matter expertise in adolescent health, sexual health, and school health. Leveraging this expertise, the AAP is unparalleled in its capacity to create school and adolescent sexual health policy based on best practices and evidence-based research, and to translate policy into practice in schools and in healthcare settings via education and capacity-building assistance.
The AAP Building Capacity for School Sexual Health Services through Training, Education, Assistance, Mentoring, and Support (TEAMS) project will improve the health and well-being of our nation’s youth by using a tiered approach to work with LEAs, health agencies, and other organizations to reduce HIV/STD, teen pregnancy, and related risk behaviors among middle and high school students. The project will provide technical assistance, specialized capacity building and training, and intensive program implementation support to strengthen effectiveness of and access to sexual health services.
The TEAMS project will achieve the following outcomes by the end of the project period: 1) Increased access to sexual health services onsite; 2) Increased access to offsite sexual health services; 3) Increased delivery of onsite sexual health services; and 4) Increased number of referrals for sexual health services to youth-friendly offsite community providers.
To meet the needs of local education agencies (LEAs) funded to enhance sexual health services provided to students, a tiered approach will be provided. Tier 1, Technical Assistance and Independent Learning Opportunities, will allow LEAs to create a tailored program of learning from the wide array of AAP and partner tools, resources, and virtual learning courses to strengthen sexual health services and delivery. Tier 2, Specialized Capacity Building, will allow the LEAs to take short-term (eg, 1 month), facilitated deep dives into specific content areas in which they might need specialized training and support. Tier 3, Intensive Program Implementation Support, is a long-term, group-based intensive capacity-building and technical assistance service initially comprised of 2 arms, one focused on enhancing policies and procedures around sexual health services using the TEAMS collaborative model, and a second employing systematic quality improvement (QI) methods to ameliorate delivery of and referral to sexual health services. Based LEA needs, additional tier 3 opportunities will be developed using a hub-and-spoke virtual education methodology that AAP has used successfully to address a variety of health topics and conditions.