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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education in Adolescent Health

Project Director(s):

Vaughn I. Rickert, PsyD
Indiana University Medical Center
Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine, XE 070
575 N West Drive, Room 070
Indianapolis, IN  46202-5272
Phone: (317) 274-8812
FAX: (317) 274-0133
Email: vrickert@iupui.edu


Adolescents are under-served with serious disparities; minorities have greater morbidity and mortality and less access, especially those with special health needs. Health care professionals, agencies and public health are often unprepared to provide comprehensive interdisciplinary care to youth.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Leadership Trining: prepare leaders in adolescent health Objective 1: to educate annually (2008-2012) seven long-term interdisciplinary health professionals from medicine, nursing, social, nutrition/dietetics and psychology for positions of leadership in adolescent health Objective 2: to educate annually (2008-2012) 45 intermediate-term interdisciplinary health professionals to acquire additional clinical competency in adolescent health care Objective 3: To provide culturally competent, family-centered, interdisciplinary health care to at least 3,000 at-risk adolescents in order to meet the needs of trainees. Goal 2: Interchange with other programs: work collaboratively with the LEAH network activities to extend the research of LEAH into areas not directly served by a LEAH program Objective 1: lead a national collaborative LEAH project in Interdisciplinary Leadership Development for annual presentation at Meeting of Society for Adolescent Medicine (2009-2012) Objective 2: seek funding with other LEAHs and targeted LENDs to disseminate the Leadership Development course to underserved regions and states (2010) Objective 3: collaborate with other LEAHs to assist state adolescent health coordinators and other professionals. Goal 3: CE and development: through CE decrease barriers leading to health disparities, empower youth and their families and enhance the quality of care to those not currently served by LEAH programs Objective 1: Annually (2008-2012) conduct continuing education program for state and regional health providers to enhance their skills in the care of adolescent and their families. Objective 2: Annually participate in national and international continuing education courses related to adolescent health Goal 4: TA/consultation/collaboration; assist programs to improve the health of adolescents and their families including Title V and X programs and programs not served by a LEAH program. Objective 1: Develop a state plan for adolescent health as part of the Indiana Title V Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (2009) Objective 2: Annually (2008-2012) provide at least 25 consultations/technical assistances to professional and agencies supported by MCH Objective 3: Goal 5: Research: continue as a center of excellence in interdisciplinary adolescent health research Objective 1: obtain extra-mural support and conduct interdisciplinary research that provides substantive opportunities for trainee education and advances scientific knowledge of adolescence (annually 10 papers, 20 presentations) Objective 2: Increase the diversity fo our research to target other critical health objectives affectivng adolescent (juvenile delinquency, mental health, obesity, diabetes/cardiovascular disease, adjust to cancer)


All facets of the competency-based curriculum provide trainees with 1) discipline specific role models, 2) formal instruction, 3) supervised application of new knowledge and skills, and 4) the opportunity to teach others. Trainees participate in a core curriculum that includes seminars in Leadership Education and Health Outcomes. Culturally competent, family-centered, community-based coordinated care is taught and practiced. Collaborative relationships with State Title V, state and county health and education departments, federal agencies, local and national researchers and other LEAH programs afford opportunities for leadership education in consultation and technical assistance. Collaboration with Title V, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana LEPN, LEND, and information technology and other LEAHs support an emerging web-based distance learning program in adolescent health. Integrated activities with university and community adolescent health programs provide trainees a rich clinical experience in providing culturally competent interdisciplinary care for high risk, minority, and special health care needs adolescents. The active research portfolio of LEAH faculty enhances adolescent health through dissemination of important health research findings to influence clinical care and health policy. Trainees actively participate in this research.


Indiana University LEAH, LEND and LEPN coordinate training, collaborate, consult and provide technical assistance activities with/to state Title V state and county health and education departments, local and national university researchers, federal agencies and other LEAH programs. Adolescents and parents serve an advisory capacity to the project as one mechanism to evaluate cultural competency and appropriateness of the program and its services.


External review consists of regular evaluation by an Advisory Committee to the Riley MCH Partners, University Academic procedures and the Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, and Deans of the Schools of Nursing, Social Work, Medicine and Science. Performance indicators are used to assist in the evaluation of the program. Progress toward achieving specific competencies is measured using time-delineated performance indicators.

Experience to Date:

IU LEAH training project achieved all proposed goals and objectives. We had seven long-term trainees, provided interdisciplinary training to 53 intermediate-term trainees, and afforded adolescent-specific teaching to another 145 short-term trainees. We provided over 5,000 clinical service visits to at-risk teens and their families that modeled culturally competent family centered care to our clinically-oriented long term trainees. Worked with other LEAH directors to develop, coordinate, and implement the first fellowship leadership forum that was held at the annual AMCHP meeting to enhance the research leadership skills of trainees from all funded LEAH training projects. With regard to advocacy and education, the IU LEAH faculty in collobration with the Indiana Coalition to Improve Adolescent Health developed and published a handbook providing important health information and resources to Indiana youth entitled, The Little Book about a Whole Lot of Stuff. In addition, LEAH faculty provided 148 educational presentations of which 30% received some type of continuing education credit to various health professional on important adolescent topics such as sexually transmitted infections, substance use/misuse, and depression. Finally, technical assistance and consultation occurred at a higher level than reported in the past. LEAH faculty completed more than 600 consultations/technical assistance on a variety of topics at the local, state, and national levels.

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