The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health Share

Featured Model Teen Programs

The Teenage and Young Adult Health Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California

The Teenage and Young Adult Health Center is an integral part of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The Center, along with the Division, is housed in a satellite medical office building several blocks from the main hospital. Its mission is to advance the health and well-being of adolescents by providing integrated health care and health education services to all young people between the ages of 12-21 in LA County, but with a special focus on high-risk, underserved youth who, because of problems or life circumstances, are unable to find appropriate services elsewhere.

The Teenage and Young Adult Health Center serves a large volume of patients: 1,041 adolescents were seen in 2011 in 3,419 medical encounters. Division staff include physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, social workers, nurses, health educators, substance abuse specialists, and peer advocates. Trainees from pediatrics, psychology and social work are integrated into the staff as well. Specific services provided include care for acute and chronic illness, physical exams, immunizations, reproductive health, HIV screening and treatment, transgender care, pregnancy testing with optional counseling and linkages to care, mental health care, substance abuse counseling, and treatment for eating disorders through a newly developed outpatient program.

The Center’s approach to care is unique in that it targets adolescents with more complex primary care needs and benefits from the research and program evaluation expertise of CHLA’s Division of Adolescent Medicine. For example, the Risk Reduction Program provides specialized services to adolescents disproportionately impacted by HIV. The Center also has an associated Transition Clinic called iVoice, which serves adolescent patients at CHLA as they prepare to transfer from pediatric to adult systems of care. Other programs run by the Division include the High-Risk Youth Program for runaway, homeless, or precariously housed adolescents, a Community Trauma Treatment Center for homeless youth, a Youth Development and Gang Prevention Program, a Teen Pregnancy and Prevention Program, and a Behavioral Health Services Program. Each program aims to provide evidence-based services and outcome data is collected for evaluation efforts when possible.

The Teenage and Young Adult Health Center benefits from a vast array of funding sources. First, it receives revenue from insurance reimbursements: about 63% of patients are insured through Medi-Cal or California Children’s Services and 22% have commercial insurance. This is supplemented with public and private grant funding. In 2011 alone, support for the Division came from two federal grants, three foundation grants, one state grant, and one county grant. A substantial amount was also raised through donations to a campaign run by the Division called The Champion Fund. Goals for the future include the expansion of research and evaluation efforts and more advocacy work. Patients benefit from a staff and infrastructure that is well-developed and equipped to meet the contemporary health needs of all types of adolescents.

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