To address the many challenges adolescents face, Bixby Director Dr. Ndola Prada joined fellow School of Public Health faculty Dr. Colette (Coco) Auerswald (SPH) and Dr. Emily Ozer in co-founding Innovations for Youth (I4Y). I4Y focuses on the social determinants of health, health disparities, connectedness, and networks for adolescents through a multidisciplinary and multigenerational approach. Adolescent health is shaped by social and structural, as well as individual factors – economic inequality, stigma, and more. Policy must address this broad spectrum of health determinants. Unfortunately, the most at-risk populations including street and out-of-school youth, ethnic minorities, and immigrants tend to be hard to reach and are often those most ignored by policy and debate. Furthermore, recent improvements to childhood health globally will be wasted if adolescent health outcomes are neglected.
Coupling the Bixby Center’s insights into adolescent reproductive health and behavior with expertise from other disciplines, I4Y strives to address these policy shortcomings and provide today’s young people with best practices in health services designed to improve individual and population health and well-being to help youth and their communities thrive. I4Y allows for efficient and effective collaborative work to address the multidisciplinary nature of the issues facing adolescents and the complexities that some of the interventions may require. I4Y provides a platform to work on designing a blueprint for adolescent health – when, where, and with what message we can intervene to gain improvements in health outcomes.
We conduct our work in collaboration with and benefiting from a range of organizations on- and off-campus that demonstrate our ability to leverage the resources we are seeking. Key partners in this effort include:
- The Center on the Developing Adolescent of the Institute for Human Development, a new center focused on developmental neuroscience; this collaboration will aid us in translating the latest findings in brain science of adolescents into interventions that capitalize on windows of cognitive growth.
- The Center for Global Public Health, based at the UCB School of Public Health, with whom the I4Y directors collaborated on a recently-funded Colloquium on Global Adolescent Health, which sponsors interdisciplinary presentations and networking towards the goal of building UCB’s capacity in addressing adolescent wellbeing.
- Our UC-based campus partners include faculty across the UCB campus and at UCSF. These include faculty from the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, the Center for African Studies, the School of Education, the School of Social Welfare, Boalt Hall School of Law and the Human Rights Center, the Department of Psychology and the Greater Good Science Center. Our UCSF partners include the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Global Health Sciences, and the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies.