PAMF’s Online, Mobile Teen Health WAY2GO! Program Receives Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care
The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) has awarded the 2011 Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s (PAMF) Wellness Assessment for Youth To Get Organized Program – known as WAY2GO! .
The 2011 Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care is presented once per year at the Society’s Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA. Nancy Brown, Ph.D., a PAMF health education manager and the WAY2GO! project director, accepted the award in person and shared a slideshow and overview of the WAY2GO! program with meeting attendees.
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 PAMF partnered with Vivecoach, a Silicon Valley-based online and mobile health application developer, to create and launch the 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 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.”
“We received wonderful feedback from the teenagers who participated in the WAY2GO! pilot program – they loved this innovative approach to managing their health,” said Dr. Brown. “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.”
Criteria for Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health Care included:
1. Is the program original and innovative?
2. Does the program serve predominantly adolescents?
3. Has the program been successfully implemented?
4. Does the program enlarge the scope of adolescent health care?
5. Does the program improve access to care?
6. Is the program cost-effective?
7. Is the program replicable?
Previous Award winners include:
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its 20 High-Risk Youth Projects
- World Health Organization for its Adolescent Initiative
- Children’s Defense Fund for its Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
- National Center for Youth Law
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for its School-Based Adolescent Health Care Program
- Pan American Health Organization for its Adolescent Health Program
- American Medical Association Department of Adolescent Health
- Carnegie Corporation of New York for its Council on Adolescent Development
- Maternal and Child Health Bureau
- Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States
- National Institute for Child Health and Human Development for its National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Covenant House International, Washington, D.C. Branch
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
- Center for Community Health and Education, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
- William T. Grant Foundation
- Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy
- National Adolescent Health Information Center
- European Training in Effective Adolescent Care and Health
- The Country Doctor Free Clinic for Homeless Youth
- Outward Bound Wilderness Intercept Program
Learn more about WAY2GO!
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