Action Project Spotlight:
Teen-Centered Healthcare

Humanities Amped students are working diligently alongside community partners on the research and action projects they will present at our April 11 Conference “Resilient Roots.”

A team of juniors have partnered with Youth Character Camp (YCC), a program committed to developing and empowering youth to realize they can be all they desire to be when they think, feel and behave in a positive manner. The team meets weekly with Ms. Aubrey Pugh, McKinley alumna and Executive Director of YCC who previously worked with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals where she was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for many years. The Youth Character Camp incorporates a federal Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) initiative in their program objectives. The initiative is called Think, Act, and Grow (TAG), which incorporates five essentials for good adolescent health. The Youth Character Camp is currently doing four of the essentials, and the partnership with this Humanities Amped team allows YCC to incorporate the fifth essential: access to high-quality, teen-friendly healthcare.

In order to get input on this topic, the Humanities Amped students created survey questions that were answered by their peers. After collecting and analyzing the survey data, team member Trinity noted, “A interesting finding we have is that out of 77 responses only 14.5% knew about the  HIPAA rule (Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act), leaving a whopping 85.5% clueless.” She further remarked, “It is important for teens to understand privacy, so that they will be more comfortable speaking out about issues they have.”

The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health invited the community and providers to attend regional meetings, called Listening Tours, to share experiences on what works and does not work in the behavioral health system. The Humanities Amped students attended the Baton Rouge regional Listening Tour on February 14 and were able to both hear community concerns and, as team member Trenton explained, “[give] them some information that they didn’t have or know about teen health.” The survey results and other input shared by the student team was well received by the community, providers, and the leadership at the Louisiana Department of Health. Community organizations and providers in attendance even suggested that the survey be used at schools throughout the city as well as the state of Louisiana.

Humanities Amped students and LA Dept. of Health officials at the Baton Rouge Listening Tour 

Karen Stubbs, Asst. Secretary, Office of Behavioral Health, LA Dept. of Health;
Audrey Pugh, Executive Director, Youth Character Camp and Humanities Amped mentor;
HA students Trenton Collins, Monique Caldwell, Taliya Thompson, Shedrell Willis, Trinity Ross;
Dr. Jan Kasofsky, Executive Director, Capital Area Human Services District;
Dr. Janice Petersen, Deputy Asst. Secretary, Office of Behavioral health, LA Dept. of Health

When asked why it is important for young people to be involved in this research, team member Shedrell responded, “It is better to have teens’ opinions on teens' health instead of adults just making assumptions on our health without us having a say so.” When asked why she chose to partner with these McKinley students, Ms. Pugh explained, “This group seems to be teens who are engaged in social issues that would not only affect them, but the people around them.” 

If you would like to see this team and other Humanities Amped students present on their research and action projects, please join us at the LSU Student Union on April 11th!

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