Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Propelling Adolescent Sexual Health Forward
RALEIGH, N.C. – SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens) will host North Carolina’s only conference on adolescent sexual health, Small Steps, Giant Leaps: Propelling Adolescent Sexual Health Forward, on May 11-13, 2016, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center in Durham, N.C.
Committed to helping communities serve young people in safe, effective, and age-appropriate ways, SHIFT NC hosts this annual conference to empower North Carolina’s professionals to support healthy development by focusing on sexual health topics like teen pregnancy and HIV prevention. Communities often struggle to address sexual health issues, and treat them as hushed or forbidden. However, sexual health is a part of overall health, and communities need tools to support it. Investing in young people’s sexual health benefits them, our state, and our communities now and in the future.
Dr. Karen Rayne will address the critical topic of parent-child communications during the event’s plenary session. Author of the recently released “Breaking the Hush Factor: Ten Rules for Talking to Teenagers about Sex,” Rayne will explore what happens when parents and teens talk about sex and address the importance of the adult’s approach to those conversations. Her book is designed to support all adults as they interact with young people grappling with their emerging understanding of identity and sexuality.
“We are excited to bring together top national experts on teen health with professionals from across North Carolina to share what works and what's next for youth,” said Kay Phillips, chief executive officer at SHIFT NC. “Our goal is to share current research and provide tools to professionals so they can make the small steps and giant leaps their community needs to help young people grow up healthy.”
Conference attendees will participate in more than 25 sessions that provide up-to-date, real-world information on program implementation, access to sexual health care services, partnership and collaboration, emerging trends and using data, advocacy, and leadership and organizational development. For the first time, a poster session celebrating some of the latest adolescent health research happening in North Carolina will be included.
Other keynote speakers include: K.Solomon Masala and the Drum Cafe, who will bring an interactive session to explore leadership develop, community-building, and motivation; and nationally renowned comedian and advocate Sam Killerman, who will address the importance of advocating for all teen voices and the need to remove shame from conversations about health and wellness.
Abigail English, J.D., Director at the Center for Adolescent Health and the Law, and Jill D. Moore, MPH, J.D., Associate Profession of Public Law and Government at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government will present a pre-conference session on Legal Issues in Adolescent Health Care. The session will address laws affecting adolescent health care, with an emphasis on consent to health care, confidentiality of health information, and special considerations with adolescent populations.
SHIFT NC will close the conference with an awards ceremony to honor individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact on adolescent health in the past year. 2016 award recipients include:
- El Pueblo, Inc. of Raleigh, Time Out Youth of Charlotte, and Jen Przewoznik of the statewide organization, North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NC CASA), will receive SHIFT NC Impact Awards. Impact Awards recognize a significant contribution to adolescent sexual health in the past year.
- N.C. Senator Tommy Tucker will receive the Nick Jeralds Award, which honors the late Representative Luther “Nick” Jeralds and recognizes a sitting legislator’s contribution to teen pregnancy prevention.
- Donna Breitenstein, director of the North Carolina School Health Training Center at Appalachian State University, will receive this year’s Barbara Huberman Award for Bravery. Named for SHIFT NC’s founder and a mainstay in the field of adolescent health, the award recognizes a brave and steadfast commitment to adolescent sexual health through a body of work or notable act.
MEDIA CONTACT: Krista Park Berry, (919) 810-4511 (mobile) or (919) 226-1880 x 122 (office)