Uniting for Adolescent Health: Collaborative Efforts to Eliminate Disparities and Advance Equity

Authored by Rena Dixon, Ph.D., MPH, MCHES



Eliminating health disparities is more than looking to eliminate the burden of disease in communities, and it’s ensuring that young people have an opportunity to thrive. Collaborations with public health systems are a key factor in advancing equity. We cannot do this work alone in taking action on how we address health inequalities. This includes building systems and creating environments where young people feel supported, safe, and seen, as well as creating economic stability, education access, and healthcare access.  

Fact Forward’s success in addressing adolescent reproductive health cannot be celebrated without acknowledging our strategic partnerships with systems that impact youth where they are born, grow, live, play, worship, and learn.  

Through partnerships with school districts, we have reached youth through the implementation of evidence-based programs in a traditional learning environment. It is essential that we continue to build partnerships with school districts and assist educators in providing high-quality reproductive health education.  

Through partnership with our juvenile justice system, we have engaged systems-impacted young people to provide sexual health screenings and evidence-based programs. These youth need our support more than ever. Our partnership creates opportunities for hope and success, as well as for these young people to be knowledgeable on reproductive health topics and have a plan to take action for their lives.  

Through partnerships with healthcare providers at our state health department locations, college campus health centers, and federally qualified health centers, we have created quality improvement projects to increase contraceptive access for young people. Young people who need access to reproductive health services have a right to adolescent-friendly services. Our partnerships allow us to create welcoming spaces and provide the best environment for young people with a need for health services.  

Each young person that we reach is a testament to the importance of working together in communities to give young people an opportunity for healthy and bright futures.