The Karabots Junior Fellows Study Teen Health

Official logo for Teen Health Week 2018

Longtime readers will recall that students in the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, as well as the Teva Internship and Out4STEM Programs, have been involved in Teen Health Week since its inception (see here and here). Created in 2016 as a joint program of the Center for Education (formerly the Center for Education and Public Initiatives), Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Teen Health Week is an annual event that seeks to raise awareness of the unique health issues facing teens. What began in 2016 as Pennsylvania Teen Health Week has rapidly expanded into a global health initiative.

Students in the Karabots Junior Fellows Program observe a slide presented by Dr. Laura Offutt as part of a lesson on teen health

Recently, the newest cohort of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program met with Dr. Laura Offutt to talk about issues related to teen health and introduce them to the tenets of Teen Health Week. Dr. Offutt has a background in internal medicine, is a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and was the chief driving force behind the creation of Teen Health Week. She is  also the founder of Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, an accurate, judgment-free health resource for teens. Subjects she addressed with the class included myths surrounding hookah smoking, the dangers of texting and driving, and the risk of sexual assault on college campuses. Later in the semester, the students will help develop an informational toolkit for Teen Health Week 2018 related to mental health.

Teen Health Week 2018 will take place March 18-24, 2018. For more information about THW and how you can get involved, check out our official Teen Health Week website or follow #teenhealth2018 on Twitter or Instagram.

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Looking Back on PA Teen Health Week 2017

Philadelphia teens pose for a group photo with Dr. Laura Offutt at the Teen Health Week Party Photo: Hieu Pham

January 9-13, 2017, marked the second annual Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. To commemorate its conclusion, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia hosted Friday the 13th at the Mütter, a public event celebrating teen health. The event opened with remarks from Dr. George Wohlreich, CPP Director and CEO, followed by several Fellows who were actively involved in THW’s development, including Dr. Laura Offutt (host of “Real Talk with Dr. Offutt” and the driving force behind THW’s inception), Dr. Loren Robinson (Deputy Secretary, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania), and Dr. Robert Sharrar. A representative from the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office read Mayor Jim Kenney’s proclamation of Teen Health Week (a fitting bookend to Gov. Tom Wolfe’s proclamation from the beginning of the week).

Following opening remarks, several Philly teens took part in Teen Health Week Challenge, a teen health related quiz show. Hosted by Youth Program Coordinator Kevin Impellizeri, three teams of Philly teens put their knowledge to the ultimate test by answering questions related to teen health for the chance at fabulous prizes. It was a light-hearted conclusion to Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017.

We would like to thank the following sponsors who helped make Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 a success: the Pennsylvania Southeast Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC)System of Care, a program of the Delaware County Department of Human Services; the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Honeygrow. Stay tuned for more teen health resources and we hope to see you all for Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2018!

Philly Youth Kick Off Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017

Students from CEPI's various youth programs pose for a group photo on the steps of the PA State House with Dr. Rachel Levine and Dr. Loren Robinson

Did you know that teenagers make up 13% of the total US population? However, despite making up such a significant portion of the population there was no week focusing on teen health until 2016. In January 2016, Pennsylvania became the first state to devote a week to spreading awareness about the health issues directly affecting teenagers with the creation of Pennsylvania Teen Health Week (THW). Teen Health Week was the brainchild of Dr. Laura Offutt. Dr. Offutt is a Pennsylvania physician, Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the host of Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, an online resource devoted to teen health. CEPI is proud to be an active partner in Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. January 9-13 is the observance Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017. This year each day focuses on one of five themes: Nutrition and Fitness, Violence Prevention, Mental Health, Sexual Health, and Substance Use.

Teva intern Su Ly stands at a podium in front of attendees to the proclamation of Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 at the Pennsylvania State House

This past Monday we traveled to the Pennsylvania State House in Harrisburg to commemorate the second annual Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. Philadelphia youth representing the Karabots Junior Fellows Program, the Teva Pharmaceuticals Internship Program, and the Out4STEM Program were on site to show their support. The festivities began with statements from four prominent Pennsylvania physicians: Dr. Rachel Levine, Physician General for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Dr. Loren Robinson, Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia), Dr. Robert Sharrar, Executive Director of Safety, Epidemiology, Registries and Risk Management and Member of the Philadelphia Board of Health (as well as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia), and Dr. Offutt. The event concluded with a reading of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proclamation announcing January 9-13 as Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017. Several Philadelphia youth, including Xavier Gavin and Su Ly of the Karabots and Teva Program, respectively, bravely read Gov. Wolf’s proclamation.

Students from CEPI's various youth programs sit in the observation deck atop the Pennsylvania State Senate chamber and listen to a guide conduct a tour of the State House

After the reading, our students took a tour of the Pennsylvania State House, visiting the chambers of the Pennsylvania Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court. While they viewed from the observation decks of the respective government houses, we hope to see some of them as lawmakers and policy developers in the future (remember: the minimum age to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is 21).

Image displaying the logos of the sponsors for Teen Health Week: Pennsylvania Southeast Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC); System of Care, a program of the Delaware County Department of Human Services; the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Honeygrow.

Pennsylvania Teen Health Week 2017 is sponsored in part by the Pennsylvania Southeast Region Area Health Education Center (AHEC)System of Care, a program of the Delaware County Department of Human Services; the Craig Dalsimer Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Honeygrow.

Philly Teens Kick Off PA Teen Health Week

PA Teens pose with Dr. Loren Robinson

Philadelphia area teens pose with Dr. Loren Robinson at the PA Teen Health Week proclamation, 1/25/2016

We are proud to be part of the first annual Pennsylvania Teen Health Week. Taking place from January 25-29, 2016, PA Teen Health Week focuses on raising awareness of all aspects of teen health issues including diet, self-harm, and mental and sexual health. It is the first such awareness week of its kind in the country. Yesterday afternoon the College of Physicians of Philadelphia hosted an event to officially kick off PA Teen Health Week with the help of some special guests. This initiative has been spearheaded by the Section on Public Health and Preventative Medicine of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Laura Offutt, MD, one of the driving forces behind PA Teen Health Week introduced the program. She is the founder of Real Talk with Dr. Offutt, an interactive web-based program devoted to informing teens about health issues that directly affect them. Working with a team of teenagers, Dr. Offutt has tackled such issues as bullying, reproductive health, and nutrition (Teens interested in health issues can also anonymously submit questions for future topics).

Following Dr. Offutt on was Loren Robinson, MD, MSHP, FAAP, the Deputy Secretary for Health, Promotion, and Disease Prevention, for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. She spoke on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania about the issues PA Teen Health Week addresses, emphasizing that the week is to promote awareness of all the health issues facing teens today.

However the highlight of the event came when seven local teens read aloud Governor Tom Wolf’s proclamation to kick off the week. Included in the group were teens from the College’s Youth Programs run through CEPI, who braved the elements to be there.

Philly teens read Gov. Tom Wolfe's proclamation to kick of PA Teen Health Week

 

CEPI is excited to be a part of this great event, and we are all proud of the students who came to show their support!