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Press Release
Healthy Teen Network Awarded Innovation Grant

Through the Incubator Innovation Hub, teams will build their innovation capacity to create new solutions and approaches for adolescent health.

Logo for Healthy Teen Network, featuring 3 interlocked orange circle outlines, and inside, outline drawings of a hand, a sunburst, and three people; below the circle, in teal, is the name, "Healthy Teen Network"

September 1, 2023

For Immediate Release

B altimore, MD —The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) awarded Healthy Teen Network a Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Tier 2 Adolescent Sexual Health Innovations Hub cooperative agreement. The TPP program is a national, competitive program that provides funding to replicate and scale evidence-based programs and develop and evaluate new and innovative approaches to prevent unintentional teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents, promote positive youth development, and advance equity in adolescent health.

The Healthy Teen Network Incubator Innovation Hub, named In/Tend, draws on the concepts of “innovation,” “incubation,” and “intention” to emphasize our role as a catalyst for reshaping unjust systems through participatory research and design. We prioritize “tending to” or “caring for” multiple cohorts of teams to enhance their innovation capacity and create prototypes.

Our goal for the In/Tend Hub is to advance health equity and enhance the sexual and reproductive health and well-being of adolescents by intentionally cultivating teams to develop cutting-edge innovations. We are guided by our vision of a world that affirms and celebrates every young person for who they are and ensures that they have the agency, opportunity, and equitable access to prioritize their bodies, relationships, and futures.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to center young people, their families, and their communities in pursuit of innovative solutions to advance health equity. With In/Tend, we aim to encourage experimentation, exploration, and iteration to drive innovation with intentionality and speed.”
– Janet Max, MPH, CHES; President and CEO

Joining us in this exciting new venture, Child Trends will serve as the Hub evaluator, and we will be collaborating closely with our Equity Accountability Board and subject matter experts. Together, our project team includes individuals with diverse skills and lived experiences, including those with expertise in adolescent sexual and reproductive health; reproductive justice; LGBTQ+, Native American, and disability rights and advocacy; diversity, equity, and inclusion; innovative approaches to research and design; and more.

The In/Tend Hub will be a vibrant ecosystem bringing together dreamers, doers, innovators, and change-makers who stretch and push the boundaries of imagination to develop innovative approaches to adolescent health. We are guided in our work by our innovation approach, which weaves together the principles Human-Centered Design and Liberatory Design. We will challenge norms, amplify diverse voices, and promote inclusivity, connecting a community of disruptors, to ensure our work reflects the needs and experiences of all young people, and their families and communities.

At Healthy Teen Network, we foster a culture of innovation rooted in equity that embraces the belief in universal creativity, encourages experimentation and iteration, values diverse perspectives, considers constraints as catalysts, and remains adaptive and responsive to systemic inequity and the needs of communities.

At Healthy Teen Network, we foster a culture of innovation rooted in equity that embraces the belief in universal creativity, encourages experimentation and iteration, values diverse perspectives, considers constraints as catalysts, and remains adaptive and responsive to systemic inequity and the needs of communities. We know the value of inspiration from diverse sources. We encourage being open to new ideas and perspectives, going beyond surface-level observations, and actively committing to collaboration and inclusivity. We embrace change, celebrate failure as a learning opportunity, and foster a playful attitude to create an inclusive space where new ideas can flourish.

“With our culture of innovation, we create a space where we push the boundaries of imagination to develop innovative approaches to adolescent health.”
–Milagros Garrido, MS, PMP; Director of Innovation and Research

The In/Tend Hub will be an expert intermediary, supporting multiple cohorts of diverse teams to develop, test, and refine prototypes of innovations and innovative strategies. Through our innovation pipeline, we will support teams in discovery, exploring gaps and user needs, identifying existing assets and strengths, and building ideas through to prototype using participatory methods, in pursuit of innovations and innovative strategies to adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Sign up for our email list to hear more about In/Tend, including when we open applications for our Innovation Development Teams.

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Healthy Teen Network promotes better outcomes for adolescents and young adults by advancing social change, cultivating innovation, and strengthening youth-supporting professionals and organizations. Healthy Teen Network is a membership organization nationally recognized for its quality training and technical assistance, integration of evidence-informed and best practices with innovative strategies, and translation of complex research to accessible resources and tools to support professionals.

Follow @HealthyTeen on Twitter.

Contact: Gina Desiderio, Director of Communications

 

The Healthy Teen Network In/Tend Incubator Innovation Hub is supported by the Office of Population Affairs (OPA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $1,886,783 with 100 percent funded by OPA/OASH/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, OPA/OASH/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit opa.hhs.gov.