Providers at Community Health Programs (CHP), which has several health centers and programs in Berkshire County, have identified the need for a comprehensive medical home for adolescents in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Our teen and young adult (TAYA) medical home would offer a broad range of services and programs for youth to provide holistic care and coordination with existing local resources. The medical home would be unique in its ability to use the facilities of the Neighborhood Health Center and CHP’s mobile outreach van to improve adolescents’ access to the medical home. Our approach would also be innovative due to our commitment to provide care in novel ways (e.g., adolescent group counseling, peer mentoring) and our focus on ensuring patient confidentiality while involving parents/guardians in the health of their adolescents.
This project will be a thorough needs assessment that will lay the groundwork for the establishment of the TAYA medical home. Our goals are to identify the major health needs of local teenagers and young adults ages 14-21; identify programs and services that will effectively address these needs; and identify opportunities for collaboration with community partners. To acquire this data, we will solicit feedback from adolescents, parents/guardians, health care providers, coordinators of youth groups and programs, and leaders of existing youth clinics through questionnaires, focus groups, and meetings. The information from the needs assessment will equip us to develop strategies for implementing a teen and young adult medical home that will reduce barriers and improve access to health care for local adolescents.