The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) announced today that it is expanding its mission and changing its name to SHIFT NC (Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens). The announcement was made at an annual conference of more than 250 teen pregnancy prevention advocates in Greensboro, N.C.
For 30 years, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina (APPCNC) has been North Carolina’s leader in adolescent pregnancy prevention, and works with communities, educators, clinicians, and families to adopt evidence-based approaches to teen pregnancy prevention. The state’s teen pregnancy rate has dropped 67% since the early 1990s.
As SHIFT NC, the organization will expand its mission to, “Leading North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health.” SHIFT NC will continue to use evidence-based and best practice strategies to improve health, but will expand its scope to include adolescent pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and STIs, sexuality, development, and relationships.
A copy of the announcement is included below:
Announcement of Name and Mission Change
Delivered by Kay Phillips, CEO
May 21, 2015 at 1:00 PM
Koury Center, Greensboro, NC
I want to tell a story that you’ve all probably heard me tell before. Barbara Huberman was a nurse – a cutting edge labor and delivery nurse in Charlotte and one of the state’s very first Lamaze coaches. She delivered thousands of babies, including many to younger women. One day, she helped deliver a baby to a girl who was only 10. Her parents had dropped her at the hospital, and left her alone. The girl had very little idea what was happening. And as Barbara watched her in recovery – coloring in a coloring book while her baby slept in the bassinet next to her – Barbara thought, “This has to change.” Barbara took that, and she used it to build something: A task force that would become the nonprofit that we now call the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina. She also inspired a movement. She inspired people – educators, politicians, parents, doctors, teens, and community leaders – to talk about pregnancy, to talk about sex, and to actually do something about an issue that had always been hush-hush. Last year, just a day after we wrapped up conference, we lost Barbara after a long fight against leukemia. But we haven’t lost her legacy or her spirit or her momentum.
When Barbara started our organization in 1985 – teen pregnancy rates were high and they were growing. Nearly 25,000 teen girls got pregnant in our state that year. But we’ve things turned around. Teen pregnancy is down 67% in the last two decades and we are so proud – not just of the work that we've done as an agency but of the work we have all done together.
And you have done a lot of work! Some of you have implemented evidence-based programs; or you’re teaching the comprehensive sex ed in school that we fought so hard to get when we worked to pass the Healthy Youth Act; some of you provide support for young families; some of you are linking teens to the care they need; some of you are on the leading edge – providing the most effective methods of birth control to teens; some of you are doing all of the above. It’s made a huge impact – on our state, in our communities, and – most importantly – in the lives of the young people who live, learn, and grow here.
In 2010, we pulled together a team to create a state goal for reducing teen pregnancy. That team crunched the numbers, looked at the work being done, talked about the possibilities, and ultimately set a goal to reduce teen pregnancy 30% by 2020. Today, I have a big announcement: We’re there-ish. We set out to reduce teen pregnancy 30% in 10 years. We reduced it 29.97% in just three years. That’s amazing.
But we’re not done yet. We know that the Healthy Youth Act has been implemented better in some places than in others. We know that young people still need access to care and our state needs more teen-friendly health care providers. And we know that we need to address some of our most serious disparities with precision efforts to get more resources to pockets of very high-risk teens. But that’s not all we need…
Today, I'm announcing a change. Some of you have heard rumblings of this; some of you have been involved in this process for more than a year now. We've been listening to you and what we've heard is that you are your community’s point person for adolescent sexual health – that you have far more on your plate than pregnancy prevention; that you’re the HIV person; that you're the person standing up for safe and supportive places for LGBTQ youth; that you're the person who talks about relationships and puberty and whatever sex question a teen can throw your way… And we know you need support. Over the last few years, we’ve worked to do that, but it’s time for us to get a little more intentional about it.
So we're changing our mission. Our new mission is “To lead North Carolina to improve adolescent and young adult sexual health”. We are expanding our scope to include pregnancy, HIV and STIs, relationships, sexuality, healthy development, and, through all of it, access to care. Our methods won’t change; we’re just broadening our vision to make a more comprehensive impact on young people’s health.
We are also changing our name. Today I am very excited to announce along with our staff and our board that we are becoming SHIFT NC, which stands for Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens.
This is not a new beginning for us; we are building on a legacy of success. Nor is this a destination; we have a lot of work to do both on teen pregnancy and on other sexual health issues. Over the next year, we’ll be doing a lot of listening to see how we can be supportive of you and of the young people in your community. We need you to bear with us a little bit for the next month or so, because all the moving pieces of a name change can get tricky. But, ultimately, we look forward to working with you for the next 30 years so that every young person in North Carolina grows up healthy.