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session during which the actors, who are also trained HIV/AIDS educators, respond to audience queries.
"Secrets" is performed daily at area schools and is often incorporated into the standard sex education curriculum. Two weeks prior to a showing, a team member from Kaiser Permanente visits the school to distribute resource manuals, provide teacher and parent guides, and supply a copy of the Kaiser Permanente video entitled "It Won't Happen to Me." This award-winning video is a recording of an interview with an HIV-infected woman who gave birth to an HIV-infected child. There has been no formal evaluation of "Secrets," but anecdotal evidence and focus groups reflect a positive response in the community.
Teenage Health Center
Kaiser Permanente of Southern California
Panorama City, CA
Kaiser Permanente of Southern California responded to the special needs of patients age 13 to 20 by forming the Teenage Health Center. The center's goal is to provide a full range of health care services to teens and to help them maintain and improve their physical and emotional health. The clinic seeks to increase access to appropriate care for adolescents and deliver health services in a proactive and preventive manner. For example, no referrals are required to use the center, and patients can call a hotline number for medical advice. In order to achieve its goals, the center employs two physicians, two nurses, a social worker, and two health educators. Many of the staff members have been specifically trained to work with adolescents. The center's varied health services include routine gynecological care and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. Social and psychological services are available, and the center sponsors a number of health education opportunities, addressing such issues as reproductive health, birth control, HIV testing and counseling, and STDs.
A critical and unique element of treatment at the Teenage Health Center is the psychosocial assessment administered to all incoming patients. This questionnaire seeks information on sexuality, contraception, history of STDs and childbearing, and other health-related topics. The intention of the questionnaire is to identify potential or existing problems such as depression, suicide, or pregnancy in order to provide truly comprehensive health services. A survey tool was recently used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Teenage Health Center as compared to traditional primary care. Data indicate that those teens seeking care at the Teenage Health Center were significantly more satisfied with the care they received than adolescents seeking health services through traditional routes. Greater satisfaction was linked with increased likelihood that the adolescent patient would discuss sensitive issues with his/her health care provider. This is of critical importance in STD-related care.