APPCNC, Gaston County awarded $5.8 million pregnancy prevention grant
Durham, N.C. (September 30, 2010) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a five-year, $5.8 million initiative to tackle the teen pregnancy rate in Gaston County, N.C., on Thursday afternoon. Gaston Youth Connected: Integrating Education and Clinical Services for Gaston County Teens will help county residents plan, implement and evaluate one of the nation’s first community-wide initiatives to reduce teen pregnancy.
The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) applied for the funding in June with the help of a broad coalition of Gaston County health professionals, youth-serving agencies, pregnancy prevention programs, and faith leaders. The Gaston County proposal was one of eight projects funded from across the country.
“We have had great success in North Carolina using evidence-based programs to reduce teen pregnancy rates in high-need groups, but those programs have been very limited by geography or funding,” said APPCNC’s Director of Prevention Programs Sally Swanson. “This unprecedented investment will let us take all of the research and experience we have in effective teen pregnancy prevention and help one county put them all into practice.”
APPCNC will develop three local advisory groups to lead the project. These groups will be a Community Advisory Panel, a Youth Advisory Panel and a Core Partner Group comprised of participating organizations.
Elements of the project will include proven prevention programs, clinical services, community and parent education, and assistance to boost Gaston County’s infrastructure for serving teens.
The CDC will pump more than $1.16 million each year into the Gaston Youth Connected project. Approximately $525,000 will go directly to local youth-serving organizations and medical facilities each year to help them implement pregnancy prevention programs.
APPCNC will hire two local project coordinators to work in Gaston County, as well as support staff in its Durham office to provide training and evaluation assistance for the project. Project partners may add additional jobs to support their work on the project.
CDC funding will also subsidize the costs for local partners to receive training, support and materials to implement pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven through rigorous, peer-reviewed research. While these programs are widely considered to be the gold standard in pregnancy prevention, they are often cost-prohibitive for nonprofit and government agencies on limited budgets.
The Gaston Youth Connected Project aims to reduce Gaston County’s teen pregnancy and birth rates by 10% over the five-year project. Gaston County’s teen pregnancy rate was 65.3 pregnancies for every 1,000 15-19 year old girls in 2008. This represents the 39th highest county rate in N.C.
The project will also work to increase Gaston County’s infrastructure to provide pregnancy prevention programs and preventative clinical services to teens so that the county can sustain prevention activities past the project funding period.
The Gaston Youth Connected project officially begins on October 1. 2010. The first year of the project is designated for the community and project leaders to use as a planning year.
APPCNC will immediately begin the processes of hiring project staff, recruiting partners and developing the project’s advisory groups. The remainder of the planning year will be used to help the community select prevention activities, access training on selected programs, and begin the implementation process.