Category Archives: Wisconsin (WI) ENC

Dec 26 2012
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United Way of Greater Milwaukee: Preventing Teen Pregnancy

United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s If Truth Be Told video on progress reducing teen pregnancies

A study released this fall in the American Journal of Public Health looks at a critical evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program led by the United Way of Greater Milwaukee. The United Way catalyzed critical partnerships between schools, community organizations and the Milwaukee Health Department to focus on the goal of reducing teen pregnancies.

In 2008, United Way of Greater Milwaukee, together with its partners, made a public commitment to reduce teen births among 15- to 17-year-olds by 46 percent by 2015. In October 2011, the City of Milwaukee and United Way announced the fourth consecutive yearly drop in the teen birth rate, by 13.5 percent, to its lowest level in decades. The current trend indicates that the partners are on track to reach their goal of 30 births per 1,000 (a 46 percent drop) by 2015.

Initiatives to support these goals include:

  • Significant investments in programs through the Healthy Girls project that helps young people understand the consequences of teen pregnancy while also teaching them the skills needed to cope with social pressure to engage in sexual activity.
  • A collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin residents to develop content for a youth-focused, website, Baby Can Wait, with medically accurate and age-appropriate content on preventing pregnancy and promoting healthy relationships.
  • United Way worked with Milwaukee Public Schools and other community leaders to revise human growth and development curriculum. Community members were given an opportunity to review the materials and make suggestions about content, and teachers received training in the new curriculum.

NewPublicHealth caught up with Nicole Angresano, Vice President at United Way of Greater Milwaukee, to get her take on the program’s successes and what other communities can learn from them.

NewPublicHealth: What is different about this effort to focus on teen pregnancy for your community?

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