NC Text Message Service Wins National Innovation Award
Durham, N.C. (July 21, 2010) – North Carolina’s BrdsNBz Text Message Warm Line has been selected as the 2010 winner of Healthy Teen Network’s Outstanding Emerging Innovation Award. The texting program, which launched in February 2009, is a service of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC).
BrdsNBz is a text message service that provides free, confidential, medically accurate answers to teens’ sexual health question. The service is available to any 14 to 19 year old in the state of North Carolina. To use the service, a teen texts NC to 36263 to opt in followed by his or her question. A trained APPCNC staff person responds with a personalized answer within 24 hours.
“BrdsNBz meets North Carolina teens on their turf with immediate and safe answers to their questions regarding sexual health,” said APPCNC Board Chair Jean Workman. “It enhances the work that parents, schools and communities do to prevent pregnancy and STDs while counteracting some of the negative information teens hear from their peers or in the media.”
Healthy Teen Network is a national organization focused on adolescent health and wellbeing with an emphasis on teen pregnancy prevention, teen pregnancy, and teen parenting. Their Outstanding Emerging Innovation Award recognizes one program each year that has been in existence for fewer than three years, is replicable in other areas, and has made an outstanding contribution to promote the health and wellbeing of youth. APPCNC will receive the award at Healthy Teen Network’s 2010 National Conference in Austin, TX, on October 26-29.
This award is the latest recognition that APPCNC has received for the first-of-its-kind text service. BrdsNBz has also received coverage in The New York Times and on Fox News. APPCNC has since helped other states, nonprofits and international organizations start similar projects. APPCNC is also partnering with other organizations and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill to research the use of text messaging to support teen health.