Best Practice

PATCH Teen Educator Program

State/Jurisdiction: Wisconsin
Setting: Community
Population: Adolescents & Young Adults
Topic Area: Family & Youth Engagement Primary & Preventative Care
NPMs: NPM 11: Medical Home NPM 12: Transition

The PATCH Teen Educator Program helps support replication partners plan, launch, and sustain a local PATCH program and is derived from the ongoing success, interest, and recognition of an intervention launched in Madison, Wisconsin. The goal is to promote open, honest, and medically accurate conversations between local adolescents and their health care providers by bringing youth voice to the forefront of adolescent health care conversations. Using an innovative, positive youth development approach, the PATCH Teen Educator Program also aims to provide Teen Educators (see below) the knowledge, skills, and opportunities that enable them to thrive and flourish into adulthood. The PATCH Teen Educator Program is community-based in nature, so each PATCH Site develops and functions differently. However, each PATCH Teen Educator Program has a Coordinator, a Teen Educator team, a Coordinator Support Team, and guest speakers/local content experts. The Coordinator guides the Teen Educator team through a 9-month program in which they meet bi-monthly for enrichment meetings to learn and grow in their understanding of complex adolescent health topics. In addition to attending enrichment meetings, the job of the Teen Educator team is to facilitate the PATCH for Providers and PATCH for Teens: Peer-to-Peer Workshops within their local community. The 90-minute PATCH for Providers Workshop helps health care professionals understand the concerns, fears, and preferences of youth in health care settings and provides suggestions on ways to more effectively communicate and build relationships with teens; the 60-minute PATCH for Teens: Peer-to-Peer Workshop empowers young people to begin managing their own health care, and equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate and advocate for youth-friendly services.

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