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Arizona Family Health Partnership is spearheading a unique upgrade to healthcare services for adolescents across our state. In collaboration with Phoenix Children’s Hospital Section of Adolescent Medicine and the Adolescent Health Initiative, AFHP is replicating the Adolescent Champion Model (ACM), an 18-month evidence-based intervention implemented in partnership with health centers providing primary care services. The program provides professional development and training on adolescent-centered care, inspires interdisciplinary collaboration to drive organization-centered change, and incites improvements in health center appearance, policies, practices, and culture.

But why make a health center more adolescent-focused?

Three health centers took part in the first Adolescent Champion Model cohort in Arizona- Mountain Park Gateway Clinic, Valleywise Comprehensive Health Center, and Chiricahua Community Health Center. Clinicians from these health centers indicated increased confidence in their ability to discuss sensitive subjects and to recognize behavioral health issues in their adolescent patients. As clinicians came to better understand confidentiality specific to youth healthcare, teens are encouraged to engage in open discussion and be more involved in their own health management. Additionally, these Champion Health Centers complimented the ease of taking part in this intervention and the confidence in being able to maintain adolescent-centered practices even after finishing the program.

Let’s look at the data.

After implementing the intervention, the Champions of Cohort 1 were evaluated by the architects of the ACM- The University of Michigan’s Adolescent Health Initiative- and AFHP is proud to announce that each Champion health center received Gold Level Certification as an adolescent-centered environment. This status is reached by implementing eleven best practice strategies for providing high-quality healthcare to adolescents. Some of these strategies include: having extended clinic hours, offering same-day Long- Acting Reversible Contraception, and routinely gathering feedback from adolescent patients. These best practices create an environment that is more welcoming to adolescents and more aligned with their unique healthcare needs. The Champion health centers also saw improvements in their ability to care for adolescent patients including having better adapted cultural responsiveness, access to reproductive and sexual health clinical practices, and an increase in adolescent involvement and empowerment. View the infographic for more of the outcomes experienced by health centers participating in the ACM.

By integrating an adolescent focus into health centers, providers and staff can provide a more positive healthcare experience that reflects and responds to the needs of youth, empowering them to establish lifelong health behaviors. AFHP is thrilled to be expanding this program with seven health centers currently participating in Cohort 2 including Adelante Healthcare in Peoria, MHC Oro Valley Pediatrics, Mountain Park Maryvale Clinic, Native Health Central, NOAH Heuser Family Medicine, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Wesley Community and Health Center.

Do you provide primary care services? Want to strengthen your team’s ability to provide youth-friendly care? Take the first step toward improving adolescent care in your practice. Recruitment has started for Cohort 3, scheduled to begin Spring 2021. For more information, please contact Tracy Pedrotti at