Mississippi First recently received a $3,072,999.75 5-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health for the Focused Pregnancy Prevention for Mississippi Teens (Focus4Teens) project. Focus4Teens will develop the capacity of health center partners through a comprehensive training and technical assistance program to provide youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and increase the number of youth accessing and receiving these services by working with youth-serving partners. Referral systems will be developed to link vulnerable youth to care and to increase awareness of health services in the community. Mississippi First will be working with partners in Coahoma County, Quitman County, and Tunica County.

Mississippi First is one of three organizations nationally that was awarded funding for this five-year cooperative agreement (DP15-1508: Working with Publicly Funded Health Centers to Reduce Teen Pregnancy among Vulnerable Populations). Focus4Teens will expand access to and use of youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable youth ages 15-19 in regions in Mississippi with high teen birth rates.

“With this grant, teens will now have access to youth-friendly health care and education. This is a major step forward in improving teen health where it is needed most,” said Emily Feher, Mississippi First’s Teen Health Training Coordinator and the Focus4Teens Project Director. “As part of the grant, we will be looking for a Focus4Teens Project Coordinator to coordinate the project within the counties we will be serving.”

Mississippi First, through the CHART (Creating Healthy and Responsible Teens) Initiative, is dedicated to providing evidence-based, medically accurate, and age-appropriate comprehensive sex education to teens in Mississippi and increasing access to youth-friendly health services across the state through training and public awareness.

For more information about CHART, visit www.teenhealthms.org or contact Emily Feher, Teen Health Training Coordinator, at 601-398-9008 or emily@mississippifirst.org. For more information about Mississippi First, contact MacKenzie Stroh Hines at mackenzie@mississippifirst.org.

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