University Park, Illinois –(ENEWSPF)—October 9, 2014. Underage drinking, tobacco and other drug use/abuse are putting South Cook County teens at greater risk of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The South Suburban Family Wellness Alliance (SSFWA), in collaboration with The Prevention Partnership, Inc., Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (T.A.S.C.), Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center, Bremen Youth Services, Franciscan St. James Health and Mental Health America of Illinois, is sponsoring a Southland Call to Action Summit on Friday, November 7, 2014, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the E Lounge (Room E1571) of Governors State University. This half-day summit will focus on the prevention of teen pregnancy and HIV/AIDS/STIs among teens in South Cook County.
Featured panelists and moderators will include: Dr. Cheryl Mejta, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health at GSU; Peter Palanca, MA, CADC, Executive Vice President of Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (T.A.S.C.) and a Senior Lecturer in GSU’s Department of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health; Kimberley Fornero, Bureau Chief, Positive Youth Development, Illinois Department of Human Services; Dr. Joseph Day, Assistant Professor of Community Health at GSU; Alisa Webb, Coordinator of Drug-Free Communities Program for T.A.S.C.; Kimberli Thompson, Administrator at Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center; Shellie Coleman, Coordinator, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, The Prevention Partnership, Inc; Juanita Jenkins, Bremen Youth Services; John Farrell, Ph.D., psychologist; Caryn Curry, Director of Prevention, Mental Health America of Illinois; and Joseph Gordon, Associate Principal, Rich South School District 227.
The goals of the Summit include:
Educate sectors of the community about the rising numbers of teen pregnancies, HIV/AIDS/STIs among young people in the south suburbs;
Identify gaps in services and resources for teens and their families;
Develop agreements between providers and south suburban community sectors to actively participate in the development and implementation of a Regional 12-month Strategic Action Plan aimed at the prevention of teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS/STIs among young people in the south suburbs;
Prevent underage drinking and other drug use, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS/STIs and mental health issues by building relationships among community sectors/stakeholders and by promoting positive family dynamics.
Although teen pregnancy rates are decreasing, the personal and public costs of teen pregnancy, childbearing, substance use and STIs can have many adverse consequences for teens, their children and their community. This call to action for these preventable outcomes will help to create community awareness and provide opportunities for dialogue and future planning among stakeholders.
The following is the URL to the “News and Events” webpage for the College of Health and Human Services – detailed Summit Program information and Registration form can be found at this location: http://www.govst.edu/Academics/Colleges_and_Programs/College_of_Health_and_Human_Services/News_and_Events/
To register or obtain additional information, contact Debra Sbalchiero, Office Support Specialist, at [email protected] Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, Illinois.