The YEAH! Network uses research, advocacy, and community education and collaboration to influence policy and practice in adolescent sexual health. By articulating a common agenda among diverse local, state, and national stakeholders, we are working to create an informed, empowered, and engaged response to teen pregnancy and sexual health disparities in Hampden County.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

SASHA Community Luncheon

 On Tuesday, 27 May 2010, the Springfield Adolescent Sexual Health Advisory (SASHA) hosted a luncheon in partnership with the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services at the Basketball Hall of Fame (read Masslive's coverage here.)  Approximately 100 community partners were in attendance, as was Springfield Mayor Dominic Sarno, Superintendent Dr. Alan Ingram, representatives from the Massachusetts Department of Health, representatives from the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy and the YEAH! Network.

SASHA was first convened by Mayor Sarno in response to the high number of births and sexually transmitted infections (STI) among Springfield youth.  SASHA is made up of community advocates, representatives of the school district, parents, teen leaders, and representatives from the medical community.  SASHA's mission is to build community capacity and engage parents, teens and policymakers in preventing unintended teen pregnancy and STIs.  To achieve this goal, the community must be engaged in a coordinated effort, necessitating collaboration with community partners: parents, teens and community based organizations. 

In order to implement a strategy to increase educational attainment and expand economic opportunities for our youth, four action groups have been established:  Community, Business/Philanthropic, Education, and Medical/Public Health.   These action groups seek to build upon the strengths that already exist within the community and create a plan to operationalize objectives that foster integration and collaboration. 

If you are interested in helping Springfield and SASHA move forward with these goals, please read the descriptions of the action groups below, find the one that best suits you, your strengths and interests, and contact the YEAH! Network at:   (Please note, this email is checked twice a week.)   As SASHA continues to meet and synthesize information gathered at the luncheon, please look for updates on the YEAH Network blog

Action Groups
Community Engagement - Juan Genera
  • Community Education and outreach to increase awareness and strengthen parental and teen involvement 
  • Improve Parent-Child communication relating to sexual health
Business/Philanthropic - Hector Toledo
  • As critical members of the Greater Springfield Community, our business and philanthropic partners can ensure that our message is shared and provide critical funding that will be needed to continue out very important work
Education - Dr. Ann Southworth
  • Ensure the vision of curriculum implementation, evaluation of the implementation process, forming community linkages for student referrals
Medical/Public Health - Helen Caulton-Harris,  Dr. Sara Perez McAdoo
  • Improve access and reduce obstacles to quality reproductive health services for youth

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