SHIFT NC Awarded 5-Year Federal Grant to Improve Health Services for Durham Teens

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Funding will help local providers become teen-friendly and boost pregnancy prevention services

SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) has been awarded a 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help Durham, N.C., health centers improve services for teens. The funding will help launch a new initiative called All Together Now: Making Health and Referral Systems Work for Young People.

Through the newly funded initiative, SHIFT NC will provide Durham’s publicly funded health centers with training, technical assistance, and coaching to help improve the accessibility, quality, and youth friendliness of sexual and reproductive health services. The initiative will also help health providers implement recommendations by leading medical organizations to help teens access the most effective contraceptive methods, IUDs and Implants. In addition, the initiative will help local organizations and agencies develop strong linking and referral networks to help youth find the health services they need.

Studies show that young people face very specific barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care. These barriers – which can include privacy fears, trouble navigating complex health systems, or misinformation about contraceptive methods – often lead youth to forgo important care such as pregnancy prevention services or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).   

The initiative builds on key lessons from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project from Washington University in St. Louis and Colorado’s highly successful teen pregnancy program, which reduced teen pregnancies 40% in 5 years.

SHIFT NC was one of only three organizations awarded this highly competitive funding. The application was crafted by a broad coalition of partners, including the Durham County Department of Public Health, Lincoln Community Health Center, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the Duke University Division of Community Medicine, and more than a dozen agencies and nonprofit organizations.


MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Finley, Director of Strategic Communications, (919) 749-7309 (mobile) or (919) 226-1880 (office)

Quick Facts: Adolescent Sexual Health in Durham

Like state and national rates, Durham’s teen pregnancy rate has fallen in recent years. However, Durham youth still struggle with sexual health outcomes:

  • Durham’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than the state’s teen pregnancy rate, and illustrates strong racial/ethnic disparities:


Teen pregnancy rate

(per 1,000 15-19 year old girls)

Number of teen pregnancies

North Carolina



Durham County













  • Durham’s Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are 60% and 80% higher than state rates, respectively.
  • Durham has the 4th highest HIV burden of North Carolina’s 100 counties. 


  1. Senator Mike Woodard's avatar
    Senator Mike Woodard
    | Permalink
    Congratulations! I look forward to the great work you will be able to continue--and expand--with this grant. Keep it up!
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  3. Tameka Brown's avatar
    Tameka Brown
    | Permalink
    Hi, I'm Tameka Brown, Founder of "Our House" Resource Center. I am interested in All Together Now: Making Health and Referral Systems Work for Young People. I am also interested in my teen mothers participating in the programs you will offer. Thanks
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