Quality & Access for Reproductive Health Equity (QARE) for Teens Project

Summary: This initiative aims to improve access, care, and the capacity of community health centers to deliver high-quality sexual and reproductive health services to adolescent patients.

Opportunity: For over two decades, there have been numerous efforts to improve access to and the quality of adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care. However, missed opportunities continue to present barriers to young people seeking SRH care. Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) are trusted safety-net providers that serve almost 10 percent of adolescents across the United States. Yet many health centers lack the support and structures to provide quality adolescent SRH services. To address these gaps, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health has initiated the Quality & Access for Reproductive Health Equity (QARE) for Teens project.

Initiative: To implement QARE for Teens, the CDC has partnered with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and engaged CAI to convene stakeholders, help develop strategies, and deliver critical training and assistance. In order to improve the quality of adolescent SRH care, we facilitated a virtual technical panel of 25 national and local leaders in adolescent SRH and conducted an environmental scan to gather strategies, tools, and resources for improving services. These efforts included key informant interviews with leading experts to understand how to improve access to SRH services through telemedicine and other non-traditional care. We will continue building upon our previous work while piloting learning communities and helping close gaps in quality, accessible, and youth-friendly care.

Impact: There are numerous change strategies and related tools and resources available to support adoption of quality adolescent SRH services. Successful implementation requires motivating and inspiring healthcare leaders and providers to prioritize the delivery of high-quality SRH care to youth patients. Through comprehensive quality assurance activities, health centers will improve their capacity to reduce disparities, improve health outcomes, and provide the most effective sexual and reproductive health services to the young people they serve.

Project funder and key partners: This project is funded by the National Association of Community Health Centers and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Reproductive Health.

Project contact: Mikayla Bobrow: qare.contact@caiglobal.org.