The Office of Adolescent Health hosts a range of events. Please find a listing below. You can also find materials from past grantee conferences and meetings for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Grantees here, for Pregnancy Assistance Fund Grantees here, and information on past and upcoming Twitter chats here

Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow (TAG) Announcement

Monday, November 17, 2014 - New Orleans, LA

Picture of TAG launchOn Monday, November 17, 2014, the Office of Adolescent Health announced a call to action—“Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow” (TAG)—at the American Public Health Association (APHA)’s 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition. TAG aims to engage a wide array of professionals who touch adolescents’ lives, as well as parents and teens themselves, to improve the health and healthy development of the nation’s 42 million adolescents. Presenters included:

  • Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, Acting U.S. Surgeon General
  • Dr. Regina Davis Moss, Executive Director of Public Health Policy and Practice, APHA
  • Dr. Carol Ford, President, Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine
  • Lynn Tiede, Senior Associate Director for Policy, Jim Casey Youth Initiative

TAG speakersIn addition to introducing TAG, presenters in the session highlighted successes in adolescent health in the last 25 years, discussed how TAG aligns with the National Prevention Strategy and Healthy People 2020, and presented strategies for engaging youth in health promotion. To view some of the social media discussion from the session, see this Storify.

In the coming months, OAH will be releasing a new section on its website dedicated to helping youth-serving professionals, families, and adolescents take action for adolescent health. Sign up today for TAG updates.

Make the Connection: How Positive Youth Development Offers Promise for Teen Health & Teen Pregnancy Prevention (Webcast)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

In observance of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the HHS Office of Adolescent Health hosted a live webcast on positive youth development. The webcast featured a panel of experts moderated by OAH's Deputy Director, Wilma Robinson. Panelists included:

  • Karen Pittman: President and Chief Executive Officer, The Forum for Youth Investment
  • Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D.: Bartley Dobb Professor for the Study and Prevention of Violence; Director, Social Development Research Group; and Professor, School of Social Work, University of Washington
  • Gina Wingood, Sc.D., M.P.H.: Professor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University
  • Lisa Lauxman, Ph.D.: Director, Division of Youth and 4-H, Institute of Youth, Family, and Community, U.S. Department of Agriculture

The webcast covered what positive youth development is; the research behind positive youth development and its success with teen pregnancy prevention; how positive youth development is valuable for programs working with adolescents; how community programs have been using positive youth development; and opportunities for future research in this area. 

You can watch an archived version of "Make the Connection: How Positive Youth Development Offers Promise for Teen Health and Teen Pregnancy Prevention" at this link.

For more information on positive youth development, please see this list of additional resources or read the #TeenPYD conversation on Storify. 

A Global Look at Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Strategies for Success (Webcast)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

You can watch an archived version of "A Global Look at Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Strategies for Success" at this link

You can also access the PowerPoint presentation, as well as a list of references

Hear from Robert W. Blum, MD, MPH, PhD, an expert in adolescent health and teen pregnancy, about how teen pregnancy outcomes in the United States compare globally, and what we can learn from teen pregnancy prevention efforts abroad. During the webcast, Dr. Blum addresses the following questions:

  • How do adolescent pregnancy and childbearing statistics in the United States compare globally?
  • How do different factors and characteristics impact an adolescent's risk of teen pregnancy?
  • What do we know about effective teen pregnancy prevention?

Dr. Blum also answers some commonly asked questions concerning teen pregnancy prevention. 

We also invite you to live tweet during the webcast using #TPPGlobal, and be sure to follow OAH on Twitter at @TeenHealthGov.  This webcast kicks off a month of activities by OAH for its third annual recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. 

Advancing the Prevention of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Adolescence: A Science to Service Symposium 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 - Washington, DC

Materials: Summary of the Symposium, Agenda, Presenter Bios, and Description of the Adolescent Health Working Group

Slides: Marc Atkins, Ph.D., University of Illinois-Chicago; Karen Blase, Ph.D., University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., University of Washington; Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D., National Bureau of Economic Research; and Richard Spoth, Ph.D., Iowa State University. (Please also see Supporting Papers)

On June 5, 2012, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Adolescent Health Working Group hosted a forum: Advancing the Prevention of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Adolescence: A Science to Service Symposium (Symposium). Approximately 65 Federal staff were in attendance, primarily from agencies within HHS, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Education.

The 2010 Senate Appropriations Committee encouraged OAH and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to coordinate efforts to implement the recommendations of the 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Preventing Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Disorders in Young People: Progress and Possibilities. Specifically, the Committee asked OAH to: (1) support the design and prioritization of evidence-based prevention and promotion programs that address mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders; and (2) support research and evaluations in areas where the evidence-base is lacking or needs improvement.

The objectives of the one-day Symposium were threefold:

1) To increase awareness among federal staff and leadership of cutting edge prevention research;
2) To highlight effective translation and implementation strategies; and
3) To promote opportunities for collaboration among research and service agencies and staff.

At the Symposium, attendees were welcomed by Evelyn Kappeler, Acting Director, OAH; Wanda Jones, Ph.D., Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health; and Larke Nahme Huang, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Children Youth and Families, in the Administrator's Office of Policy Planning and Innovation at SAMHSA.

Five researchers presented on three panels (implementation, prevention infrastructure, and emerging strategies in prevention) that were designed around the framework of the IOM report’s recommendations. Karen Blase, Ph.D., University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, and Marc Atkins, Ph.D., University of Illinois—Chicago, spoke to implementation; Lisa Sanbonmatsu, Ph.D., National Bureau of Economic Research, spoke to emerging strategies in prevention; and Richard Spoth, Ph.D., Iowa State University and David Hawkins, Ph.D., University of Washington, spoke to prevention infrastructure. Members of the Adolescent Health Working Group moderated the panels and facilitated discussions between presenters and audience members on the implications of presenters’ work for Federal planning and policy initiatives. The Symposium concluded with a Roundtable discussion moderated by Trina Anglin, M.D., Ph.D., from Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Joining the presenters for the Roundtable were Kristin Anderson Moore, Ph.D., Child Trends, and Nadia Sexton, Ph.D., Casey Family Programs.

The Symposium was developed by the Mental Health Subcommittee of the Adolescent Health Working Group which, in addition to OAH and SAMHSA, includes representatives from the following agencies:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
  • Department of Justice;
  • Food and Drug Administration;
  • Health Resources and Services Administration;
  • HHS Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships;
  • National Institute of Mental Health;
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse; and
  • Regional Health Administrators.

OAH is producing a brief on the outcomes of the Symposium which will include attendee suggestions for how to more efficiently move effective prevention research into practice, as well as discussion regarding the IOM report recommendations that were addressed.  

Supporting papers: Policy Research Brief: Implementation Opportunities and Challenges for Prevention and Promotion Initiatives; Primary Prevention in Behavioral Health: Investing in our Nation’s Future; New Models for Mental Health Promotion in High Poverty Communities: Drilling Deeper in Urban Schools (Atkins's References); Implementation: The Missing Link Between Research and Practice; Mobilizing Communities for Implementing Evidence-Based Youth Violence Prevention Programming; Financing Evidence-Based Programs and Practices:
Changing Systems to Support Effective Service
; Toward the Integration of Education and Mental Health in Schools; Expanding the Toolkit or Changing the Paradigm: Are We Ready for a Public Health Approach to Mental Health? 

Second Decade Summit 

May 30 - 31, 2012 - Seattle, Washington

Materials: Agenda, Attendee List, Presenter Biographies, Overview of OAH and HHS Regions IX and X, Second Decade Summit Summary


On May 30-31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Regions IX and X, in partnership with the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH), hosted a bi-regional Second Decade Summit (Summit) in Seattle, Washington. The Summit’s goal was to develop strategies for how to better coordinate, integrate, and improve the many disparate health and related social service programs for youth between the ages of 10 and 19. This invitation-only forum built upon earlier work on the Second Decade Project begun in Region X, and enabled regional adolescent health actors to make productive connections.

A fundamental tenet underlying the Summit was that the second decade of life (10-19 years of age) is a critical period when patterns of health-promoting (for example, adopting physical activity habits or learning ways to cope with stress) or potentially health damaging behaviors (for example, whether or not to try cigarette smoking, or to experiment with illicit drugs) are established, and that these behaviors may have a substantial influence on health status. 

Many services and programs already exist to promote health and healthy development in this age group; however, these programs are not optimally coordinated or integrated. In Region X, for example, scores of largely uncoordinated grant programs that seek to promote health in this age group have been identified. These programs are funded by a diverse range of federal agencies, school systems, social services agencies, etc. Absent a coherent strategy for fostering healthy development during the second decade, it is all but impossible for any given community to take full advantage of all disparate resources. There is a clear need to develop a more coherent, integrated approach to fostering health and healthy development in this age group.

The Second Decade Summit was held to address this challenge, and to facilitate connections and interactions among adolescent health entities in the regions. Attendees were regional actors across a variety of disciplines related to adolescent health—public health, clinical care, education, social services, government, and more—and they identified strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of collective efforts to promote health and healthy development among adolescents. In addition to these regional actors and select national experts, community leaders from key sectors attended from three locales—Richmond, CA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA—to help focus the discussions on practical steps that could help better coordinate and integrate efforts.  

Let’s Hear about the Boys: Engaging Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - Washington, DC

Video Highlights

In recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) hosted the Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy PreventionIn recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) hosted the Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy Prevention.”  Joining OAH as co-hosts of the second annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Federal event on May 8, 2012, “Let’s Hear about the Boys: Engaging event were the Administration for Children Youth and Families; the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Office of Population Affairs; and the Office on Women’s Health.  Speakers showcased the positive news related to recent declines in overall teen pregnancy rates, and highlighted the importance of increasing the engagement of adolescent males in teen pregnancy prevention efforts.   

In recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) hosted the Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy PreventionActing Director of OAH, Evelyn Kappeler, moderated the event (video), with closing remarks provided by the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius (video), Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and opening remarks (video) to set the stage provided by Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, HHS  and Commissioner Bryan Samuels of the Administration for Children, Youth and Families, HHS. Featured speakers included Andrew Levack of Engender Health, who gave an insightful keynote speech (video) on the pressures on adolescent males and offered ideas for what can be done, not only to engage teen boys more meaningfully in preventing teen pregnancy, but also to better support their growth and healthy development.  Remarks were also made by Catherine Watson of the Baltimore City Health Department and Stephen Powell of Mentoring USA (video).  They shared insights and examples on how we can better involve adolescent males in teen pregnancy prevention efforts in both the clinical and community environments.  

In recognition of National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) hosted the Adolescent Males in Teen Pregnancy PreventionMore than 200 interested stakeholders participated in the event (video).  Guests represented a wide variety of non-profit and healthcare organizations; Federal, state and local government agencies; and research and advocacy groups.  Key messages and highlights from the event were disseminated broadly through a lively Twitter chat that began at the forum and continued for days afterwards under the hashtag #TPPBoys.  The event closed with an energetic networking session, giving attendees the opportunity to visit 15 resource tables hosted by Federal agencies. The large turnout and engaged audience demonstrated that there is great interest—at the Federal, state, and community levels—in the challenge of engaging teen boys in pregnancy prevention efforts, and improving efforts to support their positive development. Several key themes emerged from the forum:

  • Negative male stereotypes serve as barriers to healthy relationships and reproductive health.  Mr. Levack and Mr. Powell provided numerous examples of the ways in which boys receive negative and/or damaging messages about male identity—including the posturing of dominance and use of violence—that can result in unhealthy behavior and relationships.
  • More could be done to provide sexual and relationship education for teen boys.  Mr. Levack stressed the positive gains that can result from working with boys and girls together to discuss and deconstruct stereotypes. He also emphasized the importance of teaching adolescent males refusal and delaying skills, skills related to condom use, and dating and domestic violence prevention as an element of sexual and relationship education. Mr. Levack and Mr. Powell suggested that parents, teachers, and other adults who work with children could also benefit from education and training on gender issues.  
  • Clinical reproductive health services have specific challenges and opportunities in addressing the needs of young men, including implementing new strategies to engage and recruit males.  Ms. Watson detailed the opportunities and challenges that the Baltimore City Health Department encountered when trying to expand health center services to males, after recognizing that the vast majority of the population served in the city’s Title X clinics was female.  For instance, the health centers adapted their recruiting procedures, as well as the materials available and the settings of the clinics, to better engage males.

Overall, the messages around teen boys and their role in the prevention of pregnancy, violence and STDs, as well as how to develop and disseminate positive gender roles and stereotypes, resonated with the audience. OAH looks forward to continuing the conversation and making progress on these issues with our partners.

First HHS Event in Recognition of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month: Evidence + Collaboration = Better Outcomes

Wednesday, May 10, 2011 - Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, May 10th the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) hosted an event in recognition of Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in the Great Hall of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Hubert H. Humphrey Building in Washington, DC.  The event theme, "Evidence + Collaboration = Better Outcomes",  was selected to highlight the coordinated efforts being undertaken at HHS to address teen and unintended pregnancy, which is one of Secretary Sebelius' key inter-agency collaborations.  This occasion marked the First Annual Federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness event. The agenda for the event can be found here.


Evelyn Kappeler and Dr. Wanda BarfieldOver 180 federal and non-federal stakeholders attended the 2-hour event and were welcomed by Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health.  Dr. Koh discussed HHS's overall teen pregnancy prevention approach which involves partnerships in three key areas: investing in evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention strategies; targeting populations at highest risk for teen pregnancy; and increasing access to clinical services. Stephanie Ventura, Chief of Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, Reproductive Statistics Branch, set the stage for the event with a presentation on the latest trends and variations in U.S. teen pregnancy and childbearing.  HHS leaders participated in a panel to showcase a variety of federal initiatives that promote collaborative and evidence-based approaches to reducing teen pregnancy and improving adolescent health.  The six federal panelists included: Evelyn Kappeler, Acting Director, Office of Adolescent Health; Wanda Barfield, Director, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Barbara Broman, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; Marc Clark, Director, Division of Teen Pregnancy Prevention, Administration for Children and Families; Marilyn Keefe, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, Office of Population Affairs; and Nancy Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office on Women's Health.  A question and answer session with the audience immediately followed the federal panel.

Representatives from local Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program grantees, Sasha Bruce YouthWork and the George Washington University (GWU), provided a brief overview of their recently funded Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) projects.  The grantees shared key points about developing effective teen pregnancy prevention programs in their communities.  Sasha Bruce YouthWork mentioned the importance of collaborations across schools and non-profits and GWU stressed to keep in mind the targeted and vulnerable population of the program when developing an innovative intervention.

The event opened with a vocal performance from a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington’s Teen Arts Performance (TAP).  In honor of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the Bouncing Bulldogs, Youth Rope Skipping Demonstration Team energized the crowd with a jump roping performance to conclude the event. 

Throughout the Evidence + Collaboration = Better Outcome event, HHS leaders emphasized the need for ongoing collaborations to ensure better outcomes on the social and health issues associated with teen and unintended pregnancy.  Many federal agencies have a role to play in preventing teen pregnancy, avoiding repeat teen pregnancies and assisting pregnancy and parenting youth.

Last updated: December 16, 2014