The United Way of Central Maryland unveils a new way to help young people. It’s the organization’s first school-based family support center for teen parents. As Mary Bubala shows us, it’s keep kids in school and supporting them as new parents. Some cry, others sleep — the babies are being taken care of at the brand new United Way Family Center at Ben Franklin High School in Brooklyn-Curtis Bay. Teen moms and dads go to school here, while their children are looked after. “Well I think that if it wasn’t here I don’t think I would come to school very often,” teen mom Maya Castillo said. “So it’s helping me a lot so I can graduate.” The center offers parenting classes, job readiness and financial education to the teens. It’s the first of its kid in Baltimore City schools.
“United Way is all about the building blocks of a self-sufficient life which means health, education and financial stability and this center culminates this for these young children, for their parents and the community as a whole,” said Sandy Monck, of United Way of Central Maryland. Sixteen-year-old Keyonna Tanzymore says she wants to set a good example for her son. “I want my son to see me graduate, it’s important to him,” Tanzymore said. “I don’t want him to think I dropped out of school when I had him.” Her aunt says the program is great. “It means a lot to me that she can bring her child to school with her. That way she can continue to go to school and graduate, because she’s in 11th grade and I want her to finish.” Keyonna’s aunt, Sheila Witherspoon said. “This is a good way for her and her baby to bond. He can be with her and she’s learning.” It’s a nurturing environment for the babies and their parents. “Now they don’t have to be concerned about who’s watching their child and whether their child is safe or not,” Heather Chapman, of Ben Franklin Center Community Schools, said. “They are really able to focus on class, mentally they are all there.” The family center is open to all Baltimore City high schoolers who are expecting or are new parents.
Twenty infants and toddlers receive care at the center, which opened Thursday.
Please see the following link for the original news article featuring our very own Heather Chapman. (Complete with pictures and video).
Dr. Maria Trent warns Howard County of the Dangers of Neglecting Adolescent Sexual Education in Schools
Howard School Board Needs to Stand Up For County Youth
As a pediatrician and parent of children attending Howard County Schools, I am concerned about the actions taken by the county school board regarding member Cynthia Vaillancourt’s effort to initiate a discussion about teens’ access to condoms (“Condom flap reveals childish school board,” Oct. 19). Reducing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections among teens is a national public health goal. In 2013, Maryland ranked 13th in the nation for teen births, with 24 adolescent girls between the ages of 15 and 19 per thousand giving birth to a child. Maryland ranks seventh in the nation for new H.I.V. infections and 21st for chlamydia infections. Some 40 percent of students in the state have had sexual intercourse and nearly two in five of those did not use condoms the last time they had sex.le students in Howard County have performed well academically, that has not exempted them from danger posed by STIs. The Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene reports that for the 15- to 19-year-old age group, “every county is a chlamydia hot spot.”
While we may all want to believe STIs won’t affect our children, the public health reality does not support that view and the complications of STIs are serious. For girls, the possible complications of chlamydia include pelvic inflammatory disease, tubal infertility and chronic pelvic pain. Boys may develop epididymitis, a painful condition involving the area just behind testicles. There are also associated STI impacts on health-related quality of life, emotional well-being and relationship status which have the potential to distract students from the activities of daily living, including their school work. There is no question that Howard County teens need access to condoms. Any access barrier posed by local supermarkets or pharmacies is unacceptable. Further, the Howard County School Board has an obligation to discuss health-related aspects of student welfare and to effectively work in partnership with the public health department and other community agencies so that learning is unencumbered by health stats.
I applaud Ms. Vaillancourt for raising this public health issue for discussion. Rather than sanctioning her, this incident suggests that we actually need more open dialogue to ensure that our teens are knowledgeable, have access to evidence-based comprehensive sex education and high-quality reproductive health services. Teens need to be empowered to make healthy and smart decisions about sex. Most importantly, we should carefully weigh our choices on Nov. 4 to ensure that we have a school board of creative and informed individuals who may have different perspectives but who are willing to stand up for Howard County youth even when it makes some of us uncomfortable.
The writer is a pediatrician and STI researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Please see the link below for the original news article featuring our own Dr. Maria Trent in the Baltimore Sun.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Study: Condoms Fail, Teens Should Consider Implants, IUDs
A new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics says condoms fail, and that teens should consider implants and IUDs as more reliable forms of birth control. The study says implants and IUDs are not widely used by teens but are the most effective methods of contraceptives available. Only one in 2,000 women using the implants have an unintended pregnancy during the first year of use, according to the study. Depending on the IUD, the rate of accidental pregnancy ranges from one in 125 to one in 500. The study says 18% of women who start using condoms for birth control become pregnant within one year. Dr. Krishna Upadhya of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center says; “I would say you need to use both…this method is going to be great for protecting you from pregnancy but it’s not going to do anything to protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.” Nearly half of all teens are sexually active during high school and about 750,000 become pregnant each year. More than 80% of those pregnancies are unplanned.
Please see the below link for the news broadcast featuring our own Dr. Krishna Upadhya’s expert opinion on adolescent birth control methods.
Landmark Report Outlines Sexual Health Services for Men
We’re very pleased to let you know that this week the Male Training Center for Family Planning and Reproductive Health. released Preventive Male Sexual and Reproductive Health Care: Recommendations for Clinical Practice. The recommendations were developed jointly by Johns Hopkins experts and the federally funded Male Training Center. The report’s lead author, Arik V. Marcell, MD, MPH, an adolescent medicine expert at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, is also the co-chair of the Steering Committee that produced the Partnership’s Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males.
The goal of the Recommendations for Clinical Practice document is to describe best practice recommendations for the organization and delivery of preventive clinical sexual and reproductive health services for reproductive-aged males. The document is intended for all levels of staff in clinical settings that offer services for male clients from adolescence through adulthood. Specifically, the document can serve as a guide in determining what clinical preventive sexual and reproductive health services for males should be provided or improved and examples of how to do so. Further, these recommendations for standards of care may be useful to a variety of other stakeholders, including insurers, by setting coverage standards for male clinical services as well as policy makers and advocates.
“These sexual and reproductive health recommendations are another important step toward advancing the overall health of adolescent and young adult males,which is the mission of the Partnership for Male Youth,” said Dennis Barbour, executive director of the Partnership. “These recommendations compliment and extend the information contained in our Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males. We hope they will energize our efforts to expand knowledge in this area through greater research and the development of clinical guidelines and recommendations supported by that research,” he said.
The Male Training Center will host a webinar that outlines the recommendations and steps for implementation. The webinar, on October 3, 2014 from 12 Noon to 1:30pm EDT, will feature Dr. Marcell and other members of the Male Training Center Advisory Board. Registration for the webinar can be found here.
The Partnership for Male Youth has emerged from the health related work of The Boys Initiative, a young nonprofit organization. In late 2012 the Initiative began researching the state of health care for adolescent and young adult (AYA) males, with an eye toward developing solutions to improve their health. After an extensive literature search and discussions with over 100 individuals from a range of medical disciplines, and under the guidance of a multidisciplinary medical advisory board, the Initiative developed a groundbreaking resource for health care providers that the Partnership released in January 2014: the Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males.
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center pediatrician named to Ebony magazine’s Power 100 List
By Brian Melton, For The Baltimore Sun
6:00 p.m. EST, November 13, 2013
Simply referring to Maria Trent, M.D., as a pediatrician is a bit like calling Barack Obama an executive.
The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center doctor’s continuing achievements as a researcher, clinician, professor and advocate for adolescent health education brought her to the attention of Ebony magazine’s editorial board, which named her in its December issue as one of the nation’s 100 most influential African-Americans for 2013. She and her fellow honorees — including Kerry Washington, Magic Johnson, Harry Belafonte, Marian Wright Edelman and the aforementioned executive — were celebrated this month at New York’s Lincoln Center.
But while science is her calling, it’s compassion for people that drives her. In fact, she credits her current research path, on pelvic inflammatory disease, to a 15-year-old girl who had fallen through cracks in the system 11 years ago. Before then, Trent was pursuing research on a disorder called PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome); and while she still sees patients for PCOS and other menstrual disorders, she realized that PID and other STDs were a bigger threat to future fertility for the urban girls she was seeing in Baltimore.
Trent says that the 15-year-old “had been diagnosed with PID at a local emergency room but two weeks later was in my office, still experiencing abdominal pain. It turns out that she’d been discharged from the ER in the middle of the night without being fully informed about next steps and hadn’t filled her prescription for antibiotics. Mind you, this is a serious pelvic infection associated with infertility, chronic pelvic pain and tubal pregnancy. In my opinion, the system failed her, and I found myself so moved by her story that I transitioned my research to ensure that this couldn’t happen again to girls so early in their reproductive life histories.
“Since then, the Children’s Center has a record of PID care delivery that far exceeds the national average, and we’ve been able to really help patients struggling with this all-too-common diagnosis.”
We caught up with Trent to learn more about what she does — and how it feels to be suddenly on the celebrity scene.
What was your reaction when told you’d been named one of Ebony’s most influential people of 2013?
In a word, awesome! I grew up reading the magazine. It was and still is a key source of information for African-Americans, a positive place where people can see themselves and read articles on issues facing African-Americans in the nation. I’m unbelievably honored to be part of their history.
Did you always want a career in health care?
I grew up in a small rural town in North Carolina as part of a large extended family, so caring for children and aging relatives came with the territory. I attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, which has an intense curriculum and early exposure to health-related courses, so a health care career was a natural progression.
What does a typical day look like for you?
It’s different every day of the week. On Monday, I’m in the clinic. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for working on my research. Wednesdays I’m teaching first-year med students the clinical foundations of medicine. Fridays are for educational seminars with our trainees in adolescent medicine.
What’s the best part of your day?
I love working with trainees and watching their development over time. Interacting with patients and their families in the Harriet Lane Clinic and in the Children’s Center inspires me to keep doing the research. Hopkins allows students to learn about caring for patients from day one, so it’s a wonderful place to mix clinical care, teaching and research.
Can you briefly explain your current research?
My focus is on helping adolescent girls better manage reproductive disorders that can affect fertility. As an example, we’re conducting a clinical trial funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research to test a technology-enhanced community health nursing intervention program that could reduce STDs among urban adolescents diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease. We are also working with bench researchers to better understand the disease’s biology and develop new testing and prevention strategies.
What advice do you give parents about raising healthy children?
Be active and engaged. The transition from childhood to adulthood is beautiful, but making healthy choices can be challenging. A safety net is important to help adolescents navigate the normal challenges of teen life. I advise parents to be active in their community and in their children’s lives. I also want them to come with their adolescent and talk with me at least once a year so that I can be a part of that safety net.
What do you see as the top adolescent health care issues today?
Sexually transmitted infections, teen pregnancy, mental health disorders and substance abuse. We’re also not ensuring adolescents receive basic health education and services. For example, in Australia, HPV (human papilloma virus) disease is virtually nonexistent because of immunization, but we haven’t done nearly as well here. Obesity is also a major concern, as it can cause otherwise preventable chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and respiratory issues.
You’re super-busy. How do you balance it all?
[Laughs.] I’m a work in progress. I try to set priorities and tend to go from there. I also have a wonderful team of professionals to work with at Hopkins. They make being busy fun and productive. I also have a supportive family — my husband and young children help me keep it all in perspective.
Name and degrees: Maria Trent, M.D., M.P.H. (Master of Public Health)
Birthplace: Hertford, N.C.
Education: Yale University; the University of North Carolina School of Medicine; Harvard School of Public Health
Current position: Associate professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, department of population, family and reproductive health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; training director, Johns Hopkins Leadership in Education in Adolescent Health Training Program; director, Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Program.
Community Outreach: Training director, DC-Baltimore Research Center on Child Health Disparities. She also serves as a medical consultant for the Baltimore City Health Department School-Based Health Program, and as a consultant for the Kennedy Krieger Research Initiatives for Student Enhancement programs.
Recent recognition: Named as international expert on adolescent pelvic inflammatory disease by the French Society of Reproductive Medicine; awarded the Council on Concerns of Women Physicians Research Award for 2013 by the National Medical Association.
Spouse: Dr. Gregory Hampton, director of graduate studies, English department, Howard University.
Copyright © 2013, The Baltimore Sun