Published May 2021
A Message from the New Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs
Dear OPA Community:
Last week I had the honor of being sworn in as the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs, joining a talented and dedicated team that seeks to fulfill OPA’s mission to promote health across the reproductive lifespan. Our collective efforts to ensure communities have innovative, evidence-based adolescent health and high-quality family planning programs are central to our nation’s public health priorities, and we are grateful for your interest and engagement in this important work. I know I speak for the entire OPA team when I say that we appreciate your support and benefit greatly from learning more about the priorities, opportunities, and challenges facing your communities. Thank you for welcoming me to OPA and thank you for all that you do to support OPA’s mission.
Jessica Swafford Marcella, MPA
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs
Celebrating National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (NTPPM)
This month we celebrate NTPPM. As U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Rachel Levine discusses in a recent video, NTPPM is about more than just preventing teen pregnancy; it’s about ensuring positive outcomes for adolescents. This means engaging youth within their communities, schools, organizations, and families in a manner that is productive and constructive.
OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Program and Title X Family Planning Services grantees work to help youth year-round, with a focus on populations with the greatest need. For 50 years, Title X grantees have provided a broad range of pregnancy prevention services to 50.8 million adolescents, many of whom are low income or uninsured. Meanwhile, TPP grantees have served more than 1.43 million young people since the program’s establishment in 2010, providing programming to enhance positive youth development.
Youth Share What Pregnancy Prevention Means to Them
What does pregnancy prevention mean to program participants?
What It’s Like
Learn about the positive impact of teen pregnancy prevention programs from youth themselves. Check out OPA’s “What It’s Like” video series, which was recently recognized with a 2021 Hermes Gold award in the Government Video category and features youth from OPA’s TPP grantee programs providing their perspectives on healthy relationships, positive youth development, and physical activity.
Grantee youth are taking over OPA’s Twitter!
OPA is featuring some new voices on its Twitter (@HHSPopAffairs)! On separate days in May, all of OPA’s Twitter content comes from youth from the following TPP grantee programs: Sasha Bruce Youthwork (DC), Campesinos Sin Fronteras (AZ), the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GA), and DC Primary Care Association (DC). If you are on Twitter, follow along with the conversation, retweet, and respond to youth’s posts. Tune in next week for two more takeover days!
AAPI Heritage Month Panel Discussion
Join the American Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month observance and view the recording of the Office of Minority Health’s recent panel discussion on current federal efforts to address racism and health inequities. The discussion, which was co-led by the National Park Service and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, featured a panel of Asian Americans who are leading grass-roots efforts to protect and empower diverse AAPI communities nationwide.
Spread the Word with These Posts
- May is #NTPPM. @HHS_ASH explains how NTPPM is more than about preventing teen pregnancy; it’s about ensuring positive outcomes for adolescents: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFmIWR2VZ0k @HHSPopAffairs
- Join @HHSPopAffairs and the rest of the country as they continue to celebrate #NTPPM. Visit OPA’s website to learn how to get involved: https://opa.hhs.gov/NTPPM#GetInvolved
- Watch and share @HHSPopAffairs’ new video montage, which shares perspectives from youth over the course of the more than 10-year history of the TPP grant program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKolGTaO08A #NTPPM
- During #NTPPM, youth from OPA’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program grant programs are taking over their Twitter account. Follow @HHSPopAffairs to hear about their experiences as TPP program participants.
- The @HHSPopAffairs’ “What It’s Like” video series, which shares adolescents’ perspectives on health, was recently recognized with a 2021 Hermes Gold award: https://opa.hhs.gov/about/news/honors-awards