Teen Health at UT Health San Antonio will benefit from $9.86 million in funding from the United States during the following five years. Officials declared on Thursday that the Department of Health and Human Services would strengthen its decrease teenage pregnancy statistics initiatives.

Youth Leadership Council members learn about pregnancy from UT Teen Health’s Educator, Jacklynn Ware. (Source: Courtesy of UT Health San Antonio)

Utilization of $9.8 Million Grant

Up to four times higher teen birth rates than the national norm can be seen in the 38 South Texas counties that UT Health services, most of which are rural. The grant money to decrease teenage pregnancy statistics will be utilized to launch joint initiatives in those counties with school systems, medical facilities, places of worship, jails, and other community-based groups, particularly in places where access to health care and education is poor, according to the news released by San Antonio Report.

According to Jennifer Todd, project manager of UT Teen Health, these programs, which will be created with local partners to customize them to a community’s specific needs, will also target generational poverty and pushes decrease teenage pregnancy statistics. A large portion of the training focuses on assisting kids and teenagers in developing life goals, both within and outside of motherhood. Children can have these goals in mind if you start them young and talk to them frequently, according to Todd.

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Strategies To Decrease Teenage Pregnancy Statistics

She stated that a lot of the research on effective strategies, such as improved parent-child communication, increased contraceptive use, and a reduction in the number of sexual partners, has already been conducted.

The new award will support UT Adolescent Health’s work in Bexar County, where a decrease in teenage pregnancy statistics by 73% since the program’s initial receipt of a grant of a similar nature in 2010, and replicate that work in the surrounding rural counties in South Texas, according to Todd.

“We’re hoping to see similar success in advancing adolescent health equity by leveraging all the services within these communities and counties,” she said.

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