Touchstone Receives OAH Grant to Continue Teen Pregnancy Prevention Services
Touchstone is proud to announce that it is a recipient of the HHS Office of Adolescent Health’s (OAH) Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grant in the amount of $998,493. OAH recently awarded more than $86 million through 81 teen pregnancy prevention grants to non-profit organizations, school districts and others.
With the grant funds, Touchstone plans to provide teen pregnancy prevention and sexually transmitted disease education and awareness services throughout the southwestern region of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. This area includes Maryvale and the cities of Tolleson and Avondale. This area has a young residency and has a higher number of Hispanic residents. Within this service area, the teen birth rate (youth ages 15-19 years old) is 71.4 per 1,000 residents, compared to 30.3 for Maricopa County and 26.6 for the country. Statistics also show that within this service area, Hispanic youth are more likely to contract chlamydia and syphilis than their counterparts.
“We are extremely pleased to receive the OAH grant,” said Gary Brennan, President and Chief Executive Officer for Touchstone. “It is a great validation of the work our staff and volunteers have done for the past five years.”
“The additional funding will allow us to continue the work we have done in the community and expand our outreach to positively impact more lives,” said Erica Chavez, Prevention Director.
Touchstone is currently in the final year of a five-year teen pregnancy prevention grant that also was awarded by OAH. During the five years of the current grant, Touchstone provided evidence-based programs for approximately 1,000 youth each year. With the new grant, Touchstone plans to expand its outreach to serve 2,500 youth every year.
In addition to providing direct services, Touchstone will continue to organize community efforts to prevent teen pregnancy and facilitate access to youth-friendly health and social services. Currently, Touchstone coordinates the CARE Coalition (Community Alliance for Resources and Education), which brings together school representatives, health care officials, community organizations and additional agencies. Through the CARE Coalition, Touchstone provides networking opportunities, trainings and services to positively impact adolescent health in the west valley. Touchstone also facilitates several advisory committees for youth and parents. These committees provide various opportunities for diverse stakeholders to come together to network and collaborate on community resources and services.
To learn more about OAH’s new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grantees, visit: http://www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/oah-initiatives/tpp_program/cohorts-2015-2020.html