Elizabeth Finley, Director of Strategic Communications, Office: (919) 226-1880, Cell: (919) 749-7309
The BrdsNBz Text Messaging Service is moving to a new home. Starting October 5th, the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) will assume operations of BrdsNBz.
When we launched BrdsNBz in 2009, it was one of the nation’s first sexual health text messaging services – a cutting edge way to connect young people with good information in a digital landscape that was not yet equipped to support their sexual health. Through the years, it has provided medically accurate, confidential sexual health information to thousands of young people in North Carolina and in other states. At the same time, we've seen the rise of so many great new digital resources for young people.
SHIFT NC is committed to making sure that sexual and reproductive health information, programs, and services are available, acceptable, and responsive to adolescents and young adults. Our other digital resources – like teenplaybook.org and preparedparent.org – have great information to offer.
We have a long history of launching ideas right here in North Carolina – like Let’s Talk Month and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month – that ultimately can do bigger things on a national stage. ASHA has more than a century of experience providing trustworthy sexual health information, including providing sexual health answers to people who need them. We are excited to see them provide a new home to BrdsNBz.
SHIFT NC CEO Traci L. Baird announces departure
Outgoing CEO to lead EngenderHealth
August 29, 2018 (Durham, N.C.) – SHIFT NC CEO Traci L. Baird, MPH, announced today that she will leave her position at SHIFT NC to lead EngenderHealth, a leading global women’s health and sexual and reproductive rights organization, as their new President and CEO.
“I’m very proud of the momentum that SHIFT NC has built over the past year, and I’m honored to have represented the organization and its mission,” said Baird. “I admire the incredible work of our staff, our board, and our partners, and their dedication to improving the lives of young people. I have the strongest confidence that the organization is poised to continue its growth and increase its impact.”
During her time at SHIFT NC, Baird worked with the staff, board, and stakeholders to develop a new three-year strategic plan, upgrade operations, elevate equity and inclusion, and increase diversity on the board of directors. Baird also oversaw SHIFT NC’s participation in successful litigation to prevent the loss of critical federal teen pregnancy prevention grants.
SHIFT NC Board Chair Kristin Ito, MD, MPH, said, “Traci has been a tremendous asset to this organization and to our work for young people in North Carolina. We are deeply appreciative of the work she has done with our staff and board to strengthen our internal operations, guide the development of our new three-year strategic plan, and position the organization to do even more to help young people grow up healthy.”
Baird will leave SHIFT NC on September 21, and will join EngenderHealth as President and CEO on October 1.
Bethann West James to fill interim director role
SHIFT NC’s Board of Directors has selected Bethann West James, JD, to serve as Interim CEO starting September 24. In her more than 25 years of nonprofit experience, Bethann has been recognized as a seasoned leader with expertise in change management, interim administration, and supporting organizational stability. She has led a range of community organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge, Southside Survivor Response Center, Inc., and CONTACT ListenLine. Bethann lives in Durham with her three adolescent boys. She is enthusiastic to bring her management skills to SHIFT NC.
SHIFT NC’s Board of Directors is engaging a search firm to identify its next chief executive. Details about the search will be posted by September 7 on SHIFT NC’s website at http://www.shiftnc.org/about/employment-internships.
SHIFT NC has joined Policy and Research Group, Project Vida, and the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy in litigation asking the Department of Health and Human Services to reinstate grant funding that is currently serving some of North Carolina’s most vulnerable teens. Policy and Research Group, LLC, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al. was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Public Citizen.
In July 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services informed grantees that competitively funded programs would end in 2018 rather than 2020, two years earlier than planned.
“Our state has made great progress reducing teen pregnancy rates. Ending these programs early undermines that progress and punishes young people, their parents and the teachers, doctors, social workers and other adults who serve them,” said CEO Traci L. Baird.
As one of the plaintiffs on the case, SHIFT NC is seeking continued funding for the Every Teen Counts initiative. Every Teen Counts builds the capacity of the foster care system and the state’s juvenile detention centers to provide trauma-informed pregnancy prevention programs.
Youth in foster care and juvenile detention centers have higher teen pregnancy rates than their peers. While communities have had evidence-based tools to affect most youth, until recently, there have been fewer tools available to serve the most vulnerable youth.
Every Teen Counts has helped partners in North Carolina implement the most effective tools to meet the specific needs of youth in foster care and detention centers. These programs couple medically accurate, age-appropriate information with trauma-informed approaches.
North Carolina’s teen pregnancy rate has fallen a remarkable 73% since 1990. But that progress hasn’t reached all youth. By continuing Every Teen Counts, the state can continue to boost the capacity of our foster care and juvenile justice systems to help some of our most vulnerable teens avoid unplanned pregnancy.
To view copies of the filing, visit https://www.citizen.org/our-work/litigation/cases/policy-and-research-llc-v-department-health-and-human-services
Just in time for Let's Talk Month, SHIFT NC is launching Prepared: A Parent's Guide to Teen Relationships, an online tool to help parents of younger teens navigate changing conversations about relationships, sexual health, and safety. Designed for parents of 13- to 15-year-olds, Prepared is designed to help guide “The Birds and the Bees: Part 2.”
SHIFT NC worked with more than 100 North Carolina parents to develop Prepared, and built the tool to respond to needs and sticking points identified by real parents.
Prepared navigates parents through a “choose your own adventure” discussion about relationships and sexual health. Easily accessed on a smart phone or computer, this tool is a pocket guide for sometimes-awkward conversations.
Prepared offers solutions for all types of parents: it includes conversation starters for those who are nervous to talk to their teen about relationships to those who are ready to talk about everything but just need a little guidance. Prepared also helps parents access information to deliver the message they want, whether it’s about abstinence, birth control, relationships, or something else.
Why It Matters
Research shows that parents are a really powerful influence on their teens - and that talking about sex is a great way to help teens be and stay healthy. Often times, though, parents worry that teens will interpret talking about sex as permission to have sex - when the opposite is true.
- Teens say that parents are their #1 influence when it comes to decisions about sex and relationships - more than friends or the media.
- Nine out of 10 teens say it would be easier to delay sex if they could have more open, honest conversations with their parents about these topics.
Why Younger Teens?
Prepared is aimed at supporting the “next” round of conversations about sexual health – the ones that come after “where babies come from” but before they’re too far into the teen years. Our background research process showed that these years were critical for setting the tone for healthy, productive conversations before they get too intense later in the teen years. We found that parents WANT to talk about sex and they KNOW it’s important, but they get stuck in a few places:
- They feel AWKWARD
- They aren’t sure what’s AGE-APPROPRIATE
- They are worried their teen won’t LISTEN or that they won’t CONNECT
Prepared tackles these sticking points by providing words of encouragement and age-appropriate talking points.
Funding for Prepared was provided by Cone Health Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through grant opportunity DP00614115. SHIFT NC is deeply appreciative of their contributions.
Thanks to the team at BCDC Ideas for helping develop Prepared! Thanks also to the 100+ parents who gave input and feedback throughout the development process.
Governor Roy Cooper has issued a proclamation naming October 2017 as Let's Talk Month. Started in North Carolina in 1986 and now celebrated nationwide, Let's Talk Month is a time to encourage parents and other helpful adults to have important conversations with young people about sexual health.
After an extensive nationwide search, SHIFT NC has selected Traci L. Baird as its next Chief Executive Officer. Traci will join the organization on October 2nd.
Paula Hildebrand, SHIFT NC’s board chair and a member of the hiring committee, expressed the board’s confidence in the hiring decision. “Traci has an incredible depth and breadth of experience that makes her an expert in strategic visioning, organizational development, fund development, public speaking, board development, and team building. We feel very strongly that she will be the perfect leader to guide the next phase of our work.”
Traci has extensive leadership experience in public health, including more than 22 years designing and leading programs on international reproductive and sexual health at Ipas. As Executive Vice President for Programs at Ipas, Traci oversaw more than 400 staff around the globe and grew the program budget to more than $40 million. Traci has volunteered on nonprofit boards in the US and overseas. Her background also includes an undergraduate degree in Human Biology with a focus on women’s health from Stanford and a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Traci expressed her excitement to join SHIFT NC. “I am honored to join SHIFT NC as the CEO and as a partner to its board and staff. Sexual health matters immensely, and I am pleased to bring my experience and energy to an organization working on this critical issue in North Carolina. The staff and board give me great confidence in the organization and our collective ability to do truly amazing things for adolescents and the people and institutions that support them.”
Traci will take the helm at SHIFT NC following a year under the leadership of Interim CEO Janeen Gingrich. Along with the board, both Janeen Gingrich and Jeanine Falcon, SHIFT NC’s HR consultant, will help facilitate Traci’s transition into the organization.
SHIFT NC is proud to release its 2016-17 Annual Report, Creating a Blueprint for a Better Future. The 2016-17 fiscal year was a big one for SHIFT NC. Read the full report to learn more about:
We are excited about the progress reported in the 2016-17 Annual Report and are thankful for our partners, donors, supporters, volunteers, and board and staff members who made an impact.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT TODAY
SHIFT NC is so grateful to our sponsors and guests at Take Flight with SHIFT NC’s fundraiser, auction and benefit that took place on September 17th at the Millennium Hotel in Durham.
Together we raised over $35,000 to help young people in our state grow up healthy! Take Flight with SHIFT NC fundraiser, auction and benefit builds capacity of SHIFT NC’s
work to ensure all North Carolina young people have access to quality sexuality education and teen friendly health care and ensures young people have a powerful advocate for their sexual health and well-being.
SHIFT NC creates community mobility through a sexual health lens by building capacity of North Carolina communities to reduce adolescent pregnancy and improve adolescent sexual health. Investing in young people’s sexual health benefits them, our state, and our communities now and in the future.
If you would like to support our work, make a donation today.
Congrats to our Gaston County colleagues! The recognition of their hard work in reducing teen pregnancy rates and increasing teen access to care is well-deserved! Click here to learn more about about Gaston's track to success.
DURHAM, N.C. (October 3, 2016) – Parents can be the first and most important sexual health educators in their children’s lives. However, not all parents are comfortable with or have the resources to discuss sexual health with their children. SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) is sponsoring ‘Let’s Talk Month’ this October as an opportunity for parents and children to learn to better communicate in an open and honest manner about sexual health.
“At SHIFT NC, we believe parents want to talk to their children about sex, but many parents don’t always know where to start,” said Janeen Gingrich, Interim CEO at SHIFT NC. “Let’s Talk Month is designed to support parents in becoming an "askable’ parent and a powerful influence on their children’s lifelong health.”
Celebrated every October, ‘Let's Talk Month’ is a national public education campaign to help parents and their children navigate a path to a healthy life where young people can make healthy and responsible decisions around sex. ‘Let’s Talk Month’ equips parents with facts, advice and tips so parents can take advantage of the teachable moments that occur every day. Watching a TV show, the birth of a child, or listening to a favorite hit song are all moments parents and their children can use to discuss sexuality and reinforce the family’s values or beliefs.
Not only is ‘Let’s Talk Month’ helpful to parents about speaking with their children about sexual health, but it also encourages youth to feel more comfortable about bringing up the topic with their parents on their own. In order for young people to make healthy choices about sex, they have the right to open and honest, age-appropriate information and to have a trusted adult that they can talk to. Studies show that youth whose parents are open and comfortable about sex were less prone to engage in sexual risk behavior.
SHIFT NC has created brochures, posters and other resource materials for community use. All materials are available for download at SHIFT NC’s website (www.shiftnc.org/LetsTalkMonth). In addition, throughout the month of October, SHIFT NC will post quick tips on how to be an “askable” parent and other facts on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Parents and their children are encouraged to join the conversation using the hash tag #LetsTalkMonth.