In 2010, in partnership with NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the National Institute released a report, “If You Expect Us to Make Healthy Decisions, We Need Sex Ed: A Report on Sexuality Education in the New York City Public School System,” providing recommendations for improving sexuality education in New York City based on in-depth interviews and an online survey with New York City youth, teachers, and parents. New York City has since issued a comprehensive sex education mandate.
For the past several years, the National Institute has partnered with Physicians for Reproductive Health to create standardized patient videos designed to facilitate discussion about how health professionals can best interact with adolescent patients. Featuring teens from the National Institute’s TORCH Program in the role of the adolescent patients, the videos focus on the unique communication, counseling, and clinical needs of adolescent patients.
The National Institute’s history of bridging the communication gap between adolescents and health care providers includes its development and implementation of the Adolescent Health Care Communication Program (AHCCP) in 2003. Founded on the belief that teenagers who are trained to work directly with health care providers become more empowered, confident, and well-informed health care consumers and that health care providers benefit from exposure to the unique needs and perspectives of their target population, AHCCP workshops are now an integral part of the TORCH program. In addition, the program has been replicated around the country as a model for helping health care providers communicate effective with their adolescent patients.