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.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The YEAH! Network conference press release

YEAH! Network
Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health Network
sponsored by Partners for A Healthier Community
4 Open Square, Suite 415
Holyoke, MA 01040

YEAH! Network To Host 5th Annual Conference on May 6
“Relationship Building: Understanding How Community Relationships Can Drive Transformation in Adolescent Sexual Health”
Event is free and open to professionals and the general public

Springfield – The YEAH! (Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health) Network will hold its 5th Annual Conference – “Relationship Building: Understanding How Community Relationships Can Drive Transformation in Adolescent Sexual Health,” on Friday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Baystate Health Education Center, 361 Whitney Ave., Holyoke.

Designed for both professionals and the general public, the free program is geared for youth service organizations, educators, social service agencies, policy makers, medical providers, funders, parents, youth, and anyone interested in leading a collective impact in adolescent sexual health.

“Although the conference will primarily focus on adolescent sexual health, the keynote speakers will address themes that are relevant to anyone interested in a collective impact to reduce the social and health inequalities in our region,” said Dr. Sarah Perez-McAdoo, director, YEAH! Network, sponsored by Partners for A Healthier Community.

“If you want to know what it will take to reduce the disparity in the teen birth rate, this conference is for you. We will achieve greater results by strengthening community relationships at multiple levels from parent-child to youth relationships to organizational partnerships to overall community connectedness with the goal of improving the sexual health of teens,” added Dr. Perez-McAdoo.

Highlights of the daylong event will include two keynote addresses, including luncheon speaker Greg Hills, managing director, FSG Social Impact Consultants. His address, entitled “Collective Impact: Achieving Large Scale Social Change,” will describe the paradigm shift from isolated impact to collective impact for addressing complex social problems. He will also discuss the key conditions for success and mindset shifts required to successfully execute collective impact initiatives in the community.

Following lunch, Hills will host a question and answer session for local funders entitled “The Role of Funders in Collective Impact.” The session will provide an informal forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges for funders engaging in collective impact initiatives.

Participants can choose from 10 workshops to be held throughout the afternoon by local, state, and national presenters. Among the many workshop topics will be “The Tipping Point: What Really Opened the Policy Window for Comprehensive Sex Education in Springfield and Holyoke,” “Engaging Youth in Public Policy Advocacy: How to Motivate, Empower and Mobilize Teens,” “Creating a Road Map for Collective Impact: Lessons Learned,”  “Parents and Providers = Healthy Teens: a panel discussion on developing strong partnerships between parents and providers in support of youth,” “Building Bridges Between Communities and Providers: a Promotora model to address health disparities,” “What Is a Young Man’s Role in Teen Pregnancy Prevention?” “Wise Choices: Healthy Teen Dating” and “Keeping It Real: What Young Men Really Think About Relationships.”

The day will end with dinner and a closing address, “Community Relationships and Respect: The Key To Understanding How Everyone Contributes To Solutions,” presented by Hector Sanchez-Flores, director, Training and Initiatives, National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute.

There will also be time for community networking during several breaks during the day.

The YEAH! Network works to use advocacy, research and community education to influence policy and practice in adolescent sexual health.

For more information, or to obtain a registration form, log onto or call 413-533-9324 or email