LinkedUp: Connecting Teens to Birth Control Before College
Josh McCawley, Project Director
Christopher Cox, Project Coordinator
Emily Feher, Project Consultant
MacKenzie Hines, Communications Director
Jitoria Jones, Engagement Coordinator
Ellen Jones, Evaluator
LinkedUp’s goal is to reduce unintended pregnancies among older teens (ages 18-19) by increasing the contraceptive coverage of teens transitioning out of care from a SBCU to a community health center (CHC) after graduation. This innovative program links older teens (ages 17-19) to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services as they transition from high school to college, or whatever their next step is. LinkedUp will target students at Mississippi public high schools in Jackson, MS, and the Mississippi Delta, which serve predominately African-American students, in which there is a school-based health center (SBHC). LinkedUp will also use a systems approach to improve the procedures, protocols, and policies at SBHC’s and the state’s public universities and community colleges to better meet the SRH needs of graduating high school seniors and college freshman as they transition out of care from the SBHC to wherever they are transitioning to, which includes connecting teens to contraceptive services. While currently in the early stages of program development, the aim is to transition LinkedUp into an innovative teen pregnancy prevention program that could be scaled up statewide and used as a model for SBHC’s across the country.