Alcohol and Drug Prevention: A New Initiative to Keep Youth on a Healthy Path

July 28th, 2014

Across the country, more people are dying from drug overdoses than car accidents. We read about their deaths daily in the news—lives young and old snuffed out. Young people are at high risk because of their impulsive behavior. And when we look at the broader pattern of misuse of alcohol and drugs, we learn that a majority of the adults who are addicted to drugs and alcohol started down that path as youth.

To break this cycle and help more young people stay healthy, Community Catalyst is joining with consumer advocates nationwide in a three-year project to make alcohol and drug prevention and counseling more widely available to youth. It just takes a short conversation with young people to identify whether they’re using drugs and alcohol, but, unfortunately, this is not a common practice in doctor’s offices, schools, or in other places that young people gather.

The project, focused on youth ages fifteen to twenty-two, uses consumer-led advocacy to promote a cost-effective, public health approach called Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). SBIRT is a set of tools that helps identify alcohol and drug problems and guides intervention if a problem exists. It also supports youth who are not misusing substances by providing pep talks to encourage them to keep refraining.

The project is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which will be matched by $1.7 million from other sources. The Hilton Foundation sees consumer advocacy as a critical part of its $10-million-a-year Youth Substance Use Prevention and Early Intervention initiative, which aims to ensure that at least 30 percent of U.S. youth have access to SBIRT, to increase the number of pediatricians and other youth workers trained to conduct SBIRT by 30,000, and to strengthen the evidence and encourage learning to improve delivery of prevention and early intervention services through SBIRT. The Hilton Foundation is also partnering with national medical associations, medical educators, youth organizations, and research institutes to increase knowledge about SBIRT. Read the rest of this entry »

Project ECHO Is Awarded $6.4 Million Grant for Diabetes and Endocrinology Care to New Mexico Underserved

July 23rd, 2014

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center’s Project ECHO, funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is already a nationally recognized model that links community-based clinicians with specialists at university medical centers to help patients in rural and underserved areas manage chronic, common, and complex conditions such as diabetes.

But with a recent $6.4 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Project ECHO will expand this work to a pilot program called Endocrinology teleECHO (Endo ECHO), the starting point for a national model that could help provide care for the more than 25 million Americans living with diabetes and other hormonal disorders.


Endo ECHO will apply the proven methodology of Project ECHO to train and support clinicians and their teams to provide access to care for patients in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico who are combating Type 1 and complex Type 2 diabetes and other hormonal disorders. Endo ECHO is the first program to provide support for multiple endocrine disorders, such as thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal diseases.

As the sole funder of Endo ECHO, the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program is interested in the pilot program’s impact on the quality of care for those living with diabetes and other endocrinologic disorders. Read the rest of this entry »

The RWJF’s Culture of Health Prize Awarded to Six Localities

July 17th, 2014

This post originally appeared on our sister blog, Health Affairs Blog, on June 25.

Recently, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded its 2014 Culture of Health Prize to six communities. These communities– Brownsville, TexasBuncombe County, North CarolinaDurham County, North CarolinaSpokane County, WashingtonTaos Pueblo, New Mexico; and Williamson, West Virginia–were selected for the work they have done to place a high priority on health and bring partners together to drive local change.

Read the rest of this entry »

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