Contact Us

The Partnership for Male Youth

1010 Massachusetts Ave, NW Suite 511

Washington, DC 20001

Dennis Barbour, JD | President and CEO

202-841-7475

dbarbour@partnershipformaleyouth.org

Our Mission

The Partnership’s mission is to work with and on behalf of adolescent and young adult males to optimize their health and ensure that they thrive.

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accomplishments and strategic plan

January: 2019

BACKGROUND

 

As evidenced by the research and the recommendations of a number of health-related organizations, adolescent and young adult (AYA) males between the ages of 10 and 26 have health care needs that are unique to their gender. At the same time, AYA males typically do not seek out or receive health care services. While there are a number of venues where AYA male health services could be provided, health care providers in these venues are not well equipped to interact with AYA males. Even if they desire to provide services to AYA males, providers do not have ready access to information or training about how to do so. Furthermore, even venues that do provide health care to AYA males, such as family planning clinics providing STD services, are not typically male-friendly, and are often viewed by adolescent males as places where females go for services. Finally, all venues that provide health care services to adolescents are challenged by reimbursement policies; this is particularly the case for AYA males.

The Partnership for Male Youth was formed to address these issues. It is currently composed of 20 national health organizations and has representation from six federal agencies. Recruitment of new partners is ongoing; over time, it is expected that other professional organizations and governmental agencies will also join the Partnership for Male Youth. We represent the first time that major health organizations have joined together to specifically address the health care needs of AYA males.

Mission and Focus

 

The mission of the Partnership for Male Youth is to advance the unique and unmet health care needs of AYA males.

 

The mission of the Partnership for Male Youth is accomplished through six principle endeavors:

  1. Research to identify 1) the unique, unmet health care needs of adolescent and young adult (AYA) males  and 2) efforts that have been made or are underway to address those needs

  2. Coalition building through engagement of partner organizations and others

  3. Identification of actual and potential venues for the delivery of health care to AYA males

  4. Training and resource development for health care providers in those venues

  5. Engagement of AYA males in their own health care

  6. Public awareness and advocacy

 

Many other organizations address adolescent health issues either in non-sex specific ways, or, if they do address adolescent health issues in a sex-specific way, only in terms of females. What makes the work of the Partnership for Male Youth distinct from and of added value to these efforts is the fact that it focuses on the health care needs of AYA males that are both unique to their sex and unmet.

 

There are at least six major audiences for information about AYA male health: health care providers, parents, AYA males, policymakers, researchers and the public. Furthermore, while the term AYA males is used to define males ages 10 to 26, within this range there are four main AYA male age groups, each of which have distinct and oftentimes overlapping needs: 10-14, 14-18, 18-22 and 22-26.

Health Provider Toolkit

In addition to the formation of the Partnership for Male Youth, one of its most significant contributions to date is the release of the Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males in 2014. The Toolkit is based upon an exhaustive literature search and needs assessment process regarding AYA male health.

The Toolkit is the first attempt to gather in one place research and information related to the unique health care needs of AYA males in nine distinct health domains, from healthy eating to immunizations. It also contains specific recommendations and resources for delivering AYA male clinical services in each of these domains. It was developed under the guidance of a multi-disciplinary panel of health care providers and researchers who are nationally known leaders in AYA male health care.

The Toolkit is intended to serve primarily as a reference document. It is the foundation upon which practical approaches to enhancing the delivery of health services to AYA males will be based. Hence, its content was specifically designed to be broad and overarching.

Since the Toolkit’s publication, a major goal of the Partnership for Male Youth is to facilitate translation of its content to practical clinical guidance for health care providers as well as information for parents, AYA males, policymakers, researchers and the public.

The Toolkit is continually updated and its format will be revised to make its content practically usable in a range of clinical setting, as discussed below.

While it contains nine health domains, the content of the Toolkit can be organized into six major subsets:

  1. Healthy eating/physical activity

  2. Sexual and reproductive health

  3. Mental health

  4. Substance abuse, injuries and violence

  5. Infectious disease

  6. The physical examination

These six major subsets are often co-morbid with the others. For example, mental health can affect sexual and reproductive health behaviors, as can substance abuse. Therefore, it is not possible to realistically address each of them in total isolation from each other.

Accomplishments: 2012-2016

In addition to the above, the Partnership for Male Youth’s accomplishments through 2016 include the following:

  • Creation of a communications network consisting of over 2,500 individuals and organizations

  • Launch and continual updating of various social media platforms

  • Creation of a Partnership for Male Youth app

  • Completion of phase one of the Young Male Well Visit project

  • Publication of a weekly news update on issues pertaining to AYA male health

  • Identification, coordination and engagement of a group of individuals with expertise and leadership experience in the area of AYA male health

  • Recognition of the Partnership for Male Youth as the national leader in AYA male health

 

Throughout 2014, 2015 and 2016, the Partnership for Male Youth has sponsored accredited educational sessions at a number of national health conferences. These sessions cover both subjects contained in the Toolkit as well as the Young Male Well Visit project, discussed below. 

 

In subsequent years live and web-based continuing education presentations on a range of topics are planned. Parallel and derivative products and tools could be developed for use in the clinical setting by different clinical disciplines and specialties. This work can also help spawn scientific literature and popular media in the form of papers, articles and editorials.

The Young Male Well Visit Project: 2015

 

The Toolkit is the inspiration for the Young Male Well Visit project, launched in 2015. It has been a collaboration among the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), the Healthy Teen Network (HTN), the School Based Health Alliance (SBHA) and the Partnership for Male Youth. 

Consistent with the framing described above, during 2015 the project was focused on males aged 12-18, health care providers in school-based and primary care settings and the subjects of healthy sexuality, the physical examination and immunizations.

The project has been funded in part with independent grants from Merck that were awarded to ASHA, HTN and SBHA. ASHA activities focused on provider, parent and AYA male education. HTN activities focused on education and training for health educators. SBHA activities focused on the development of “best practices” for AYA male health care within the school-based clinic setting. The role of the Partnership for Male Youth is to coordinate those three efforts.

Beginning in August, 2015, National Immunization Month, the Young Male Well Visit project has released a range of materials and resources, including:

  • Companion patient and provider tools consisting of a patient questionnaire and a parallel clinician guidance tool

  • Focus testing of the draft tools among AYA males and school-based health providers

  • A project website and social media platform

  • Publication of an article regarding the focus testing results (pending)

 

Activities undertaken in 2015 constituted phase one of the Young Male Well Visit project. Subsequent Phases will build on phase one successes and will be broadened to focus on different age groups, different audiences and different subject areas. Some of these are discussed in the following section.

 

Follow-On Young Male Well Visit Project Concepts 2016-2018

 

Expansion of the Young Male Well Visit activities for 2016 and beyond includes the following activities:

  • Replication of the 2015 clinical tools for providers and various segments of the AYA population

  • An online knowledge base containing the latest research and recommendations that pertain to subjects covered by the Young Male Well Visit

  • Other provider clinical tools, “best practices” and an online tutorial for conducting the Young Male Well Visit

  • Continuing education curricula on the Young Male Well Visit

  • Parallel parent educational materials

  • Parallel tools to educate and engage AYA males in their own health care

 

Of the recommendations issued by the PSTF, the ACIP and the CDC that relate to AYA males, immunizations are the most important. Immunizations for AYA males are provided in a variety of venues beyond those targeted by the Young Male Well Visit. The immunization portion of the Young Male Well Visit project could be expanded upon by identifying venues other than school-based settings, strengthening their work delivering vaccines to young males and building models for piloting these services in other venues. This work can be built upon and coordinated with ongoing work of the CDC as well as with NIH-funded researchers who are engaged in social marketing research and campaigns to increase acceptance and use of adolescent immunizations among parents and providers.

 

Priority Areas of Focus: 2016-2018

OUTREACH

  • Expanding the Partnership: The membership of the Partnership will be expanded to reach those who interact with AYA males in a health context. These would include, for example, emergency physicians, college health providers, coaches and state health directors. During 2016–2018, the Partnership for Male Youth will be reaching out to these constituencies to obtain their perspective on and engage them in our work.

  • Expanding Audiences for Information About AYA Male Health: As mentioned above, other important audiences for messages about AYA male health are the public, policymakers and the media. Effective social media initiatives undertaken in 2015 and 2016 can be continued in subsequent years and serve as the foundation for new social media approaches. Projects that would engage the public, policymakers and the media would include articles for popular media, participation in men’s health fairs and other venues and initiation of outreach to the legislative and executive branches.

  • Engaging AYA Males: The Partnership for Male Youth is currently composing a core group of AYA males that will design focus groups of other AYA males to identify levels of knowledge and tools to engage AYA males in their own health care. Plans are also being developed to sponsor health fairs for AYA males in a variety of settings, including as a subset of existing men’s health fairs.

 

RESEARCH

  • Cataloging Information and Research Related to Existing Venues that Provide AYA Male Health Services: While the Toolkit contains the most comprehensive body of information about AYA male health, it does not contain information about existing venues that deliver health care to AYA males. Examples of these venues are school and community-based health clinics, emergency rooms, places where sports physicals are performed,  family planning as well as STD clinics. More detailed information on these and other venues can be collected and analyzed through research and surveys of partner organizations.  

  • Surveying Health Care Providers in Those Venues to Determine Successes, Barriers and Resource Needs for Engaging AYA Males: This is a follow-on to the cataloging described above and will include analyses of successes, barriers and resource needs that can form the basis for the development of training and clinical practice tools, including accredited offerings. Based on the preceding research, models for delivery could be developed and piloted in other venues.

  • Identifying Existing and Potential Reimbursement Mechanisms: One of the most significant challenges to an expansion of AYA male health care is reimbursement. With that said, because the ACA mandates that young males enroll in health insurance plans and because the ACA also allows young males to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, reimbursement for certain preventive services, including immunizations, will no longer be a barrier for these young males. The Partnership for Male Youth will explore how the ACA can serve as a model for other reimbursement mechanisms and strategies. The Partnership for Male Youth will also make recommendations to the Administration for an expansion of AYA male “essential health benefits” under the ACA when they come up for review in 2017.

ENGAGING HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

  • National Summit on AYA Male Health: One of the Partnership for Male Youth's most important projects during 2016-2018 will be to sponsor a 2017 National Summit on Adolescent and Young Adult Male Health, discussed below. The purpose of the conference will be to help forge an agenda for advancing the state of AYA male health.

  • CME: Opportunities for CME will emerge from many of the Partnership for Male Youth's activities throughout the 2016–2018 period. These are discussed in more detail below.

Activity Clusters: 2016-2018

Research Expansion, Coalition Building and Continuation of Activities related to The Young Male Well Visit Project

 

The objective of this cluster of activities is to build on the work and successes during the 2014–2016 period by expanding existing efforts and initiating new ones.

Specific Activities

  • Updating the Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males

  • Creating a condensed online and print version of the Toolkit

  • Cataloging and creating an online library of existing “young male content” information and educational materials from other organizations

  • Creating and launching social media efforts to promote awareness of the above

  • Expanding Partner organizations to engage organizations that represent health care providers/educators in areas such as:

    • Adolescent medicine

    • Emergency medicine

    • College health

    • Pharmacy

    • Nursing

    • Social work

  • Creating and launching social media and other efforts to enhance cross-partner information exchange and collaboration

  • Adapting the Patient Self-Assessment Tool designed for males ages 14-18 for males ages 10-14 and 18-22

  • Hyperlinking the Clinicians Guide to an online clinical knowledge base that explores covered subjects in more detail

  • Developing an app for the Patient Self-Assessment Tool

  • Hyperlinking the Patient Self-Assessment Tool to an online knowledge base that explores covered subjects in more detail

  • Expanding social media and other efforts to publicize the availability of the Patient Self-Assessment Tool and Clinician’s Guide

  • Developing continuing education curricula on the Young Male Well Visit and the Clinician’s Guide

Healthy Young Male Project: Health and Immunization Awareness Campaign

 

Objectives

  • Explore knowledge and attitudes of males ages 18-22 regarding their health and access to health care, using the subject of immunizations as a spearhead for opening discussions with them about broader health topics

  • Identify and create ways to educate males this age about the importance of immunizations, completion of immunization series and other measures they can take to improve their health, emphasizing peer education and support

  • Explore avenues of access to immunizations and health care for males this age, and encourage their use and availability

  • Develop and provide continuing education measures for health care providers who interact with males this age

Specific Activities

  • Focus grouping of males 18-22

  • Creation of a national peer network of males 18-22 to communicate and advocate about immunizations and other health issues

  • Creation of a male youth advisory board for the overall project

  • Creation of a peer-developed plan for the national Campaign

  • Creation of social media efforts to promote the Campaign

  • Creation of innovative mechanisms to track and monitor immunizations

  • Creation of an online knowledge base of subjects covered by the Campaign, for young males and providers

  • Creation of an online knowledge base of existing CME offerings and materials pertaining to immunizations

  • Creation of accredited and non-accredited CME offerings and materials

  • Creation of Campaign materials and communications vehicles

2018 National Summit on AYA Male Health

 

One of the most important findings of the needs assessment process leading up to publication of the Toolkit was that there is strong support for a centralized, comprehensive source of information on AYA male health and a thirst for opportunities to share information among colleagues who are doing work, or have an interest, in this area. The Partnership for Male Youth is planning to sponsor a national summit to begin the dialogue on how to begin meeting that need.

Why a National Summit?

The health conditions that affect AYA males cut across a range of diseases, disabilities and conditions, and hence, clinical specialty areas of practice. The purpose of the National Summit on AYA Male Health is to identify and begin exploring the nexus of health care disciplines and practice that have, or could have, a role in AYA male health.  The summit will be designed to facilitate interaction and collaboration among these disciplines and practices. The outcomes of the summit will be a scientific report on the state of current knowledge in the area of AYA male health and a multi-year action agenda for advancing AYA male health, in such areas as research, clinical practice and patient engagement.

While the Partnership for Male Youth will be the prime sponsor of the summit, it will be important to enlist the co-sponsorship, or at least involvement, of relevant federal agencies, including the NIH, CDC and the VA. In addition, a range of health-related organizations should be engaged in planning and conduct of the summit itself. Involvement of policymakers should be considered, as well as outreach to the health care media.

The Partnership has named an initial steering committee that will frame the planning process for the summit. This committee is currently composed of individuals from the areas of medical research, anthropology and sociology, public health, biology and neurology, military affairs and public policy. Individuals representing other relevant disciplines may be added.

This steering committee will meet throughout the months of August and September 2016 to frame the agenda for a planning meeting for the 2017 summit to take place in late October of 2016. The steering committee will identify the organizations and individuals that will participate in the October planning meeting and the 2017 summit.

Corollary steps in planning and will be a literature review to update the Health Provider Toolkit for Adolescent and Young Adult Males and identification individuals and organizations that can play a role in the summit and follow-up activities. The literature review and outreach can also serve as an informal needs assessment process.

It is contemplated that the summit will include presentations from a range of medical and health care discipline. Disciplines such as pediatrics, adolescent medicine, family practice, public health, sociology, psychiatry, reproductive health, substance use and urology would be among these. One purpose of the presentations would be to help identify co-morbid health conditions, or those that span across many specialty areas.

 

potential activities

 

Among other things, the action agenda that emerges from the 2017 summit could include activities such as:

  • Research collecting, analyzing and publishing data and information on AYA male health

  • Surveys of health care providers and male patients of existing young men’s clinics to determine the dynamics of service delivery and what motivates its male patients to seek and return for care

  • Knowledge Institutes that would assemble health care leaders and young males to explore gaps in young men’s health care delivery; innovative means of addressing them

  • Recommendations for education of public health and clinical providers; and recommendations for engaging and empowering  young males in their own health care

  • Creation and support of a learning community for health care providers

  • Creation and dissemination of information, tools and other resources that address needs in this area, including on-going educational programs and on-site capacity building

  • Development of best practices

  • Replication of existing models

  • Identification of research needs and development  of a research agenda