Palo Alto Medical Foundation Newsroom

PAMF Launches Award-Winning Online and Mobile Teen Health Program: WAY2GO!

How do you motivate teenagers to develop good habits that will keep them healthy their whole life long? Use their favorite communications method to motivate them – a cell phone! That’s why the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) has partnered with Vivecoach, a Silicon Valley-based online and mobile health application developer, to create and launch a new award-winning online health and wellness program – called WAY2GO! – designed specifically for teenagers.

With PAMF’s WAY2GO! program, teenagers start by taking a confidential, online wellness assessment that creates an immediate, individually tailored report with links to health and wellness resources from PAMF’s teen website. Once teens have completed the health assessment they are linked to Vivecoach’s free health coaching service that helps them work on daily health goals highlighted in their report such as getting more sleep and exercise or eating better. This engaging tool helps teens develop a personal wellness plan that includes activity reminders and health tips delivered through text messaging.

More than 250 teenagers from Santa Clara County high schools participated in a six-month-long pilot test of WAY2GO! that was funded by a grant from The Health Trust, a local non-profit organization that aims to advance health and wellness in Silicon Valley.

“We received wonderful feedback from the teenagers who participated in the WAY2GO! pilot program – they loved this innovative approach to managing their health,” says Nancy Brown, Ph.D. , a PAMF health education manager and the WAY2GO! project director. “In fact, the program has been so well received that we will soon pilot two further versions – a program for pre-teens and another for college students.”

The WAY2GO! pilot program has already received nationwide recognition. In March 2011 it was awarded the 2011 Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care by the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM).

“We partnered with PAMF because we were looking for someone to help us understand the value of our health gaming application for youth and Dr. Brown believed that Vivecoach brings a needed call to action after a teen gets their HRA results,” said Jennifer Gill Roberts, Vivecoach founder and chief marketing officer. “Our virtual coaching through text messaging, (which Dr. Brown affectionately calls “Mom-in-a-box), and our fun competitive wellness challenges tap into the mobile savvy and gaming drive that youth have to help them improve their health behaviors.”

Visit the PAMF Teen Health Website.

Join the conversation on the PAMF Teen Health Facebook page.