Integrating Services, Programs, and Strategies Through Community-wide Initiatives: The President’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative

As part of the President's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative (TPPI), CDC (Spanish version) has partnered with the federal Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) to reduce teenage pregnancy and address disparities in teen pregnancy and birth rates. The purpose of this program is to demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative, multi-component, community-wide initiatives in reducing rates of teen pregnancy and births in communities with the highest rates, with a focus on reaching African American and Latino/Hispanic youth aged 15–19 years. A community-wide model is an intervention implemented in defined communities (specified geographic area) applying a common approach with different strategies. Community-wide approaches are tailored to the specified community, and include broad-based strategies that reach a majority of youth in the community (i.e., through communication strategies and media campaigns); and intensive strategies reaching youth most in need of prevention programming (i.e., through implementation of evidence-based programs and improved links to services).

Project Goal: Reduce teen birth rates by 10% in Horry and Spartanburg counties.
For the past 18 years, the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (SC Campaign) has partnered with agencies to support work in communities across each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. Having positioned itself as a state and national leader in the field of teen pregnancy prevention, the SC Campaign was the proud recipient of significant federal funding in 2010 to expand and intensify teen pregnancy prevention efforts in South Carolina, specifically Horry and Spartanburg counties, and ultimately put much needed resources back into these communities.

Target Communities: Teen birth rates in South Carolina are consistently higher than the nation as a whole. In 2011, South Carolina had the 12th highest teen birth rate in the country among 15 to 19 year olds. Horry and Spartanburg have teen birth rates higher than the state and national average and in 2010, met other selection criteria identified by the Office of Adolescent Health.

Project Description: Teen pregnancy can be prevented, but it requires intensive effort, community buy-in and initiative. The SC Campaign believes that by increasing the implementation of high quality, evidence-based and evidence-informed youth development and teen pregnancy prevention programs and increasing linkages between these programs and community-based clinical services, teen pregnancy can be significantly reduced.

As such, SC Campaign staff in each county focuses on four areas:
  • Ensuring teens  in each county have the opportunity to participate in programs shown to prevent teen pregnancy (also known as Evidence Based Programs).
  • Access to teen friendly reproductive health services.
  • Public awareness, education and community actions that support teen pregnancy prevention and youth development.
  • Ensuring work is culturally competent to address the needs of diverse populations.
  • Engaging the community in activities that lead to collective action to achieve social change.

Funding was made possible by cooperative agreement #IU58DP002913 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health.

Highlights to date:

  1. Community Assessments: Each community has completed two assessments, one for teens and one for adults.  Around 400 teens and over 400 adults in each community completed surveys to share their thoughts on teen pregnancy in their community, as well as knowledge about local resources.  The short analysis of the data from each community can be found below:
    Teen Pregnancy Prevention in Horry County
    Teen Pregnancy Prevention in Spartanburg County
    During 2011-2012:
    • Twenty-five members for the Community Action Group in Spartanburg and 20 members in Horry, were recruited for their insight into their community.  Each of these groups developed a community logic model and a vision statement to help give the project community supported direction.
    •The Core Partner Group and Community Action Group, made up of key community members, have also been utilized to identify current policies/procedures that hindered the prevention of teen pregnancy in their communities, which have been prioritized by importance and feasibility of change.
  2. Stakeholder Education: Media contacts in the community have been utilized to generate a buzz for the teen pregnancy prevention project, as well as to inform community members about the issue of teen pregnancy in general.  Over 19 educational and networking events have been held in the communities.  Below are some news stories that cover the issue of teen pregnancy and the Not Right Now, Put Pregnancy on Pause project:
  3. Dana Becker and The Point Health Center at Tobias featured on GoUpstate.com
    Abraham of MTV's 'Teen Mom' speaks to Spartanburg youth
    SC Campaign, ‘Teen Mom’ tackle Horry County teen pregnancy
    'Put pregnancy on pause,' event urges Spartanburg teenagers
  4. Capacity Building: Multiple trainings and one on one assistance has been given to help local youth serving agencies and medical facilities increase their capacity to provide high quality services to youth.
    During 2011-2012:
    • Over 400 hours of Technical Assistance were provided to partners and clinic
    • Collaborated with additional medical partners (including a hospital ER) to  increase Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) use among teens, , and allow Medicaid billing for insertion of a LARC before a new mom is discharged from the hospital.
  5. Technology: The online resources and social media connected to the Not Right Now community mobilization project are innovative and strategic.  The websites are Ning sites and are supported by engaged members.  Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, also support this work by connecting with a larger audience to conduct large-scale public awareness campaigns and interventions targeting youth.
    NRN Horry Twitter
    NRN Horry Facebook
    NRN Spartanburg Twitter
    NRN Spartanburg Facebook
  6. Performance-Based Contracts: The SC Campaign also provides funding for public and private youth-serving agencies to conduct evidence based teen pregnancy prevention programs within each community.  Between 2011 and 2012, nearly $200,000 was provided to youth serving agencies for the implementation of evidence based programs.
    During 2011-2012:
    •  Seventeen Evidence Based Intervention partners signed on and served 1,090 teens with seven evidence-based programs.
    • Ten clinic partners, each of which committed to implementing Best Practices for providing quality reproductive health care to adolescents, were partners.
    • Established partnerships with two local AIDS Service Organizations to oversee distribution of 55,735 free condoms through 92 Condom Access Points.
    • Developed a clinic referral process for local partners to refer sexually active youth.

Get Involved
Contact our Community Specialists to join the growing list of community members in Horry and Spartanburg who are working to better the quality of life for youth in their community.

Eleni Gavrilis, MBA
Horry County Community Specialist
3650 Claypond Road
Myrtle Beach, SC 29579
ph: 843-742-5231
website:  www.nrnhorry.com

Dana Becker, M. Ed.
Spartanburg County Community Specialist
210 Bomar Avenue
Spartanburg, SC 29306
ph:  864-582-3400
website:  www.nrnspartanburg.com