Volume 12, Number 4
Fall, 2007

National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (NIIAH)

The National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health was created to enhance efforts to improve the health, safety and well-being of adolescents and young adults through collaborative action at community, state and national levels. NIIAH was launched cooperatively by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Adolescent and School Health and the Health Services and Resources Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau's Office of Adolescent Health.

NIIAH offers a unique opportunity for policy makers, health professionals, community members, adolescents and their families collectively to address issues that affect the health of youth 10 to 24 years old in the USA. The work is anchored by the 21 critical health objectives enumerated in the Healthy People 2010 campaign (e.g., concerns that greatly threaten the health of adolescents and, subsequently, adults). Achieving these objectives involves reducing existing health disparities.

NIIAH takes a broad view of adolescent health, recognizing the importance of healthy youth development and safe, nurturing environments that help young people make healthy decisions. In focusing on healthy youth development, NIIAH takes a positive and affirming ecological view that emphasizes young people's potential and the interactions between young people and their environment. In focusing on healthy environments, NIIAH recognizes that choices of individual adolescents are shaped by their environment. This requires a societal commitment to young people.

Our Center is pleased to be a participating partner in NIIAH. We encourage all interested parties to learn more about the initiative. See: http://nahic.ucsf.edu/index.php/niiah/C9

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