Centerstone Research Institute Secures $5 Million Grant for Teen Pregnancy Prevention in Middle Tennessee

Tennessee |

Funding will increase access to pregnancy prevention services for teens in at-risk communities

Nashville, Tenn.—Centerstone Research Institute (CRI), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving mental healthcare through research and information technology, has secured a five-year $5 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Public Health and Science and Office of Adolescent Health to increase Tennessee adolescents’ access to pregnancy prevention services.

The grant will fund evidence-based pregnancy prevention services in local schools across 26 Middle Tennessee counties. The services, which have been proven effective in preventing teenage pregnancy, addressing underlying associated behavioral and other risk factors and contributing to the overall health of individuals, families and communities, will be provided for 13,300 adolescents, ages 12-19.

“Teen pregnancy continues to be a significant concern in our communities,” said Dennis Morrison, Ph.D., CEO of Centerstone Research Institute. “This grant will bring proven pregnancy prevention services to adolescents in Middle Tennessee. These services will help teens not only understand pregnancy risks, but also equip them with knowledge and tools to make healthier, more responsible decisions in all aspects of their lives.”

The goals of the program include establishing and sustaining a community-based teenage pregnancy prevention program for adolescents (age 12-19); reducing risk for teenage pregnancy; conducting outreach and education on teenage pregnancy—prevalence, risks, costs, etc.; and developing and disseminating a thoroughly documented service model for replication in areas across the state and the nation.

To accomplish these goals, funding has been provided for pregnancy prevention services; outreach and education to stakeholders including teachers, principals and other school personnel, physicians, nurses, social workers and faith-based representatives, as well as members of the community; and a social marketing campaign reaching 60 percent of area residents.

More than 90,000 adolescents in the 26-county target area attend public schools. The teen birth rate in these communities mirrors or exceeds the state rate of 56.2%. In addition, over 150,000 active duty military personnel, retirees, and dependents live in six of the counties, with many of their children attending local schools. Parents returning from war zones have increased risk for substance abuse, PTSD, depression or traumatic brain injury, which increases the potential for their adolescent children to engage in risky behaviors.

To help accomplish project objectives, Centerstone staff will coordinate with multiple stakeholders, such as local school systems, teachers counselors, local health departments/councils and primary and behavioral healthcare providers for the five year duration.

About Centerstone Research Institute
Centerstone Research Institute (CRI) is a unique not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving mental healthcare through research, information technology and clinical informatics. CRI conducts service and clinical studies and partners with leading research institutions to advance knowledge of mental health and addiction disorders and discover innovative treatments. The organization maintains an Institutional Review Board and manages the Knowledge Network, a technology-based, partner-driven alliance to facilitate the translation of research to practice. CRI also offers Behavioral Pathway Systems, a best practices benchmarking service. CRI is a recipient of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare’s Innovation Award and the 2010 Best Practices Award by The Data Warehousing Institute. For more information about CRI, please visit www.centerstoneresearch.org.