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assessment and prevention counseling into primary care visits. The study will use a systems approach, focusing on the entire health care team. Training, materials, and other practice supports will be developed to help primary care providers play a more consistent role in HIV/STD prevention efforts.
MY Health: Minority Youth Health Project
Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound
The Minority Youth Health Project (MY Health), a Group Health Cooperative (GHC) community program, is one of seven such interventions funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Its purpose is to "prevent violence, pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and substance abuse in 10-14 year old youths in Seattle." Seattle's diverse racial and ethnic groups include Vietnamese, Latino, and African American populations, making this project's target audience especially unique. In order to appropriately target this audience and to encourage innovative approaches to changing youth health behaviors, GHC has worked with the University of Washington, the city of Seattle, a local minority health coalition, and target population focus groups.
MY Health takes three main approaches to encourage behavior modification: parenting, youth intervention, and community coalition mobilization efforts. Attention has primarily been focused upon the promising youth intervention and community coalition mobilization efforts. These efforts approach behavior change in very different ways. In the youth intervention program, a small group of students is exposed to health education messages. With the assistance of group leaders, they create an innovative health promotion product. Through their work, they learn entrepreneurial skills and enhance their knowledge of health.
The community coalition mobilization effort convened community focus groups to assess significant youth health problems in their communities, providing each group with $8,000 per year to implement creative interventions to these issues. The African American community focus group, one of those selecting STDs as a priority issue, designed and executed a particularly creative project. Approximately two dozen adolescents, chosen from Garfield High School, worked closely with experts in music and video production to produce unique music videos focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. This approach employs the peer education approach that has become popular and that appears, anecdotally, to be moderately successful. A second round of this program is just beginning.
Current and past efforts to support and enhance the MY Health Project derive from GHC's commitment to both health promotion/disease prevention and community service in its tightly knit health care community. The project's goals fit in with GHC's general program objectives. In addition, both the director of the municipal hospital and the local minority health coalition identified minority