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.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dear Community Partners:

Over the past few days the team at the YEAH! Network has received inquiries regarding the RFR recently released by the Massachusetts Department of Health to support evidence based programs to prevent teen pregnancy.   At this time the YEAH! Network will not apply for the funding.  As a community coalition our mission is to motivate the community and its leaders to address adolescent sexual health and important life decisions.   Our primary mission is not service delivery but building the adult, youth and organizational leadership capacity across all sectors of communities for a collective impact in adolescent sexual health.  Our goal is to leverage our collective human capital to ensure that teens have the knowledge to  make healthy decisions about their sexual health, to have access to quality sexual health services and that the community provides robust opportunity to ensure a prosperous future for all the youth in our region. 

The current RFR is very competitive with nine cities across the state qualifying but only six proposals being funded.   Given the competitive nature of the grant, the YEAH! Network will not write letters of support for the proposals submitted from Holyoke and Springfield.   The best way the YEAH Network can respond to the RFR will be to connect community partners that are  applying so that there is a transparent process that allows organizations to connect if they are interested in submitting a collaborative proposal.  In addition, the YEAH! Network will seek to engage the organizations that are funded to work cohesively with the current community initiatives to reach our common goal of improving the sexual health of teens across Springfield and Holyoke. 

On Friday November 18th the YEAH! Network will host its third Community Conversation for Action that is focused on the target population indicated in the RFR.  The event seeks to formally engage organizations and individuals who work with youth in foster care, homeless youth and youth in the Juvenile Justice System.  The event will provide the opportunity to identify the challenges in addressing the sexual health of high priority youth and most importantly, identify innovative solutions to reduce adverse sexual health outcomes our most vulnerable youth.   The event will be held at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield.  It will start promptly at 8AM and end at 10:30am.  For anyone who is preparing to apply for the funding, this event will be a unique opportunity to network with potential partners.   We will also provide copies of the reports from the previous Community Conversation for Action with the Latino and Faith Community that can be used to inform the proposals. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via email or by phone.  You can reach the Assistant Director Larissa Rivera Gonzalez at or myself at  You can also call us at office at 413-533-9324.

My best,
Sarah Perez McAdoo MD, MPH
Youth Empowerment Adolescent Health Network