Program Provides Health Educators To Help Reduce Teen Pregnancy Rate

FAYETTEVILLE – The Cumberland County Department of Public Health will get two health educator positions as part of the North Carolina Youth Connected project to address teen pregnancy in Cumberland and Onslow counties. A funding amount of $508,267 over five years will pay for the salary and benefits of the two educator positions.

The goal of N.C. Youth Connected is to cut teen pregnancy rates in Cumberland and Onslow counties in half by 2020. The program is designed to replicate the success of the Gaston Youth Connected. During the initiative in Gaston County from 2010 through 2015, teen pregnancy rates decreased 40 percent.

As a N.C. Youth Connected partner, the Cumberland County Health Department will receive coaching on best practices in adolescent medicine and funding to become a pregnancy prevention hub in the community. Funding will support a teen health advocate position and a health educator position focused on teen pregnancy prevention.

Cumberland County ranks 18th in the state and Onslow County ranks 2nd in the number of reported teen pregnancies in 2014, the most recent year with data available.

N.C. Youth Connected is a five-year initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health and administered by the Sexual Health Initiatives for Teens North Carolina (SHIFT NC). SHIFT NC, formerly known as the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina, is a statewide nonprofit with a goal of improving adolescent and young adult sexual health including prevention of teen pregnancy, HIV and Sexually-Transmitted Infections.

If you would like more information about the Cumberland County Department of Public Health’s programs and services, health-related data, or community resources, please call 910-433-3600 or visit with someone at the information desk, or visit our website at co.cumberland.nc.us/health.aspx#. Comments are welcome and can be submitted on our website at co.cumberland.nc.us/health/commentsform.aspx. The Health Department is located at 1235 Ramsey St. Fayetteville.