2019 Symposium Program / Handouts

Tuesday - April 16, 2019


8:30 - 10:00 AM (Breakout Sessions)

Two Part Session
PART 1: Santa Rosa ISD: A Holistic Social Work Approach to Student Success in Hispanic Students

Maribel Lopez, LMSW | Santa Rosa ISD

Attendees can expect to learn the impact of a social work model in the education system in regards to teen pregnancy prevention, HIV/STD prevention and other factors that may impede student success. This model is an important approach to successfully impact a student’s overall decision-making skills. Middle school and high school students in Santa Rosa ISD have received social work services in conjunction with an evidence-based curriculum to address social emotional issues that impact student decisions about safe sex. Social workers are utilized to aid students and parents concerning absenteeism, behavior issues, and promotion/graduation rates. This approach is applied to the district's afterschool program as well.


PART 2: Tools for Successful Collaborative Community-Based Reproductive Health Education in Texas

Nancy Trevino-Schafer, Ph.D. | Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Taiya Jones-Castillo, LBSW, CHWI | TDSHS, Public Health Region 1

Having a best-of-fit educational program is important for meeting people where they are. This session will cover strategies that the Lubbock Area Teen Pregnancy Prevention Coalition has utilized to build successful reproductive health education programming in a changing (but still very conservative) West Texas community. This session will discuss how to identify which topics to cover; how to select an evidence-based reproductive health education curriculum; and, who to invite to participate in presenting and attendance. We will also explore how to build community ownership and promote your programming to diverse groups. We will share lessons we have learned working in reproductive health and healthy sexuality education for more than 10 years.


Two Part Session
PART 1: #teenpregnancy on Instagram: Lessons to Reach Teens in 2019

Mindy Menn, Ph.D., MCHES | Texas Woman's University

The purpose of this presentation is to examine how teen pregnancy is discussed and framed on Instagram. Many teens in Texas and across the United States are engrossed in social media. As of October 2018, Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms among today's teenagers and it serves as an online hub to share and frame experiences regarding #teenpregnancy (38,086 posts), #teenagepregnancy (5,545 posts), and being a #teenparent (6,588). With the relative lack of research regarding the visual and textual content of Instagram posts from today's teens, understanding conversations regarding teen pregnancy taking place on Instagram is of interest to health professionals using social media to reach teenagers. Attendees can expect to learn cutting-edge information regarding the conversations teenage pregnancy experiences shared on Instagram and to leave the session with guidance on how to create relevant teenage pregnancy prevention messages for Instagram-using teens in Texas.


Part 2: More than Program Participants: Parents Informing the Field

Veronica Ray Whitehead, M.Ed., CHES | North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens
Jessica Chester, CHS, CLC | Parkland Hospital
Jennifer Hernandez, CHW | North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens
Brianne Walker, MEd | Homemaker

Parents are the best people in a young person's life to provide information regarding sexual and reproductive health. As the experts of their families, it is important for the field of teen pregnancy prevention to engage parents not just as program participants but as crucial allies of the field. The only way to be informed on the needs of parents is to ask parents themselves. In this panel discussion, attendees will hear the experiences and lessons learned from three parents of children in elementary through high school on how they have had "the talk" with their children and how they maintain continuous conversation on this topic. A sexual health educator will also join the panel to share different lessons learned from parent and youth programming.


Two Part Session
PART 1: The Texas Youth Action Network: Moving Youth Development Forward in Texas

Emily Naiser, MPH | Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University
David Cabrera, MPA | Public Policy Research Institute, Texas A&M

This session will discuss the use of youth adult partnerships in Texas through the Texas Healthy Adolescent Initiative (THAI). Program evaluation findings have shown that youth adult partnerships (YAPs) can develop youth resiliency skills (e.g., voice, engagement, self-efficacy, self-esteem) but specific grant restraints can hinder these partnerships from achieving full potential. A new approach to youth adult partnerships is warranted. In this session, we will present the findings of the THAI program from 2014-2018 and how these findings are driving a new model of youth engagement in Texas. Organizations that participate in this new model (now called the Texas Youth Action Network (TYAN) as part of the THAI program) receive training and supports tailored to their needs, access to variety of youth development resources, small grants and networking opportunities. During the session, we will also highlight the expanded role of youth in developing TYAN.


Part 2: A Powerful Look at the Young Parent Perspective Through Photovoice

Tracy Parks | Engenderhealth
Rebecca Shirsat | EngenderHealth

Research on the social determinants of health revealed that there are various factors that contribute to a person's health. These factors include the economic and social conditions of a person's immediate environment and access to resources that promote healthy living. EngenderHealth's team of peer educators and program coordinators will take session participants through a visual and conversational journey of the impact of community resource access and how that influences the overall health of a young person and young parents by showcasing the Re:MIX team's photovoice project. Photovoice is a participatory action research project that combines writing and photography to capture the elements of a person's experience with the goal of better understanding their environment, and factors that influence their access to necessary health resources. This interactive session will break down the results of EngenderHealth's photovoice project, through the lens of young parents.


Boys Should Be Boys: Redefining Masculinity, Consent and Accountability for Today's Adolescent Male

Ariel Kirklen, MPH, CHES | Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
Samantha Bohrt, MPH | Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas

During this session, participants will discuss the impact of lack of consent and unhealthy relationships on teen pregnancy. Current phenomena such as the MeToo movement will allow participants to have a conversation about societal pressures, toxic masculinity, and the changing culture of consent, specifically as it relates to teen boys' understanding of social/media messaging, emotionally vulnerability, and perception of expectations in situations related to relationships and sexual activity. The session will conclude with focusing on where the work lies in reshaping how we approach conversations and strategies for young men to frame their ability to maintain healthy relationships and approach consent with tools that contribute positively to the community, their self-efficacy, and the avoidance of risky behaviors that could ultimately result in the prevention of teen pregnancy.


10:30 - 11:30 AM (Breakout Sessions)

Developing a Supportive Team Culture for Program Sustainability

Sara Reeves, MS, CHES | LifeWorks
Cory Hall-Martin, MSW | Lifeworks

In this session, geared towards managers and supervisors, participants will learn strategies for proactively creating a positive and supportive team culture. Session themes include: appreciating and using staff differences, managing positively, and using staff voice. Participants will hear examples of strategies used and leave with resources and tools that can be used in practice with their own teams. Participants will have the opportunity to share what has worked for them, assess what they are currently doing to create a resilient team culture, and develop an action plan.


An Overview of Public Health Initiatives and Women's Health Services in Texas

Rebecca Sorensen | Texas Department of State Health Services
Viveca Martinez | Texas Department of State Health Services

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is focused on improving the health, safety and well-being of all Texans. This mission is met from both a public health and client service perspective. The Texas Department of State Health Services focuses on public health initiatives related to improving the overall health and well-being of Texas adolescents. Learn about current data-informed trends; best practices for youth, community, and stakeholder engagement; and strategies to improve adolescent health holistically. Attendees will also learn about HHSC client service programs and resources available to women of child-bearing age in Texas.


Youth Advocates: Leaders of Today

Eleni Pacheco | Healthy Futures of Texas
Leah Gonzalez, MSSW | Healthy Futures of Texas

What motivates youth to be involved in advocacy, change, and stay engaged throughout a school year? You'll find out here! In this interactive session, attendees will learn about the kinds of platforms youth need to feel most heard by elected officials and their community. Information will be distributed on how to access policy information and scheduling meetings with elected officials that community members can use to further help youth share their personal stories and testimonials. The session will end with adults understanding how to give teens the opportunities to step into advocacy roles and speak on behalf of their own experiences and beliefs.


1:30 – 2:30 PM (Breakout Sessions)

Trauma and Teenagers: How to Create a Health Culture for Youth

Rob Thurlow, LMSC | Lifeworks

This presentation will focus on trauma creating a healing culture for youth. Through open dialog with Emerging Adult survivors of complex trauma, we will explore the factors beneficial to creating a healing culture, one which recognizes and realizes the impact of trauma, and responds in ways that promote healing and resiliency. This presentation includes video content and panel discussions with youth as well as opportunity for processing case scenarios to practice new skills.


The State of the State: Teen Pregnancy in Texas

Jennifer Biundo, MPAff | Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

A baby was born to a teen mother once every 18 minutes in Texas in 2016. Despite strong declines since the 1990s, Texas still has the fourth highest rate of teen births nationwide and the highest rate of repeat teen birth. This session will offer a deep dive into the most current data around teen pregnancy and birth trends in Texas, and will outline the policy landscape shaping those trends. Attention will be focused on vulnerable populations, including youth with a trauma history and teens at risk of repeat pregnancy. The session will examine evidence-based prevention strategies, and will illustrate how youth-facing professionals can make a crucial impact by empowering teens to take charge of their reproductive health and by supporting youth who already are parents.


Fourth Times a Charm: Creating and Sustaining a Youth Leadership Council

Ariel Kirklen, MPH, CHES | Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
Ileana Cruz | NTARUPT
Ayelia Ali | NTARUPT
Samantha Bohrt, MPH | Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas

The North Texas Alliance to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens (Ntarupt) and Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas (PPGT) partnered in 2015 to create the Youth Leadership Council (YLC), focusing on recruiting youth in the Dallas community to function as peer educators and influence other youth across the Dallas area to learn more about sexual and reproductive health. This session will cover an introduction to the function of a YLC and the role of peer educators in teen pregnancy prevention programming (TPPP). Educators from both NTARUPT and PPGT will offer reflections on the key challenges faced in the first four years of the implementation. Furthermore, educators will discuss key changes made in the YLC partnership over the years that left a positive impact, explore future goals for the NTARUPT/PPGT YLC partnership, and provide participants in this session with resources for starting a YLC within their own communities.


2:45 - 4:00 PM (Closing Keynote)

Developing a Resilient Self

Rosalinda Mercado | E-Colors

Resiliency is a process that requires intentional practice. Whether one has experienced poverty, abuse, or any other form of neglect that once seemed normal, or professionally worked alongside individuals who have, this session will introduce attendees to the framework utilized to gain a healthier and new normal. Building resiliency requires self-reflection, an understanding of others, and actionable steps. Research on the concept of resilience found that some individuals who had psychological resilience, which refers to coping and adapting effectively, are more likely to experience positive emotions even during periods of stress. This session will cover the tenets to bring about a healthier change: connecting to purpose and meaning in life; using unique strengths; maintaining perspective; generating positive feelings; being realistically optimistic; persevering by being open-minded and flexible; and reaching out to others.