Written and Compiled by Mar y E. Johnson,...

Written and Compiled by Mary E. Johnson, M. A.
Table of Contents
Introduction...............................................................................Page 4
The Study..................................................................................Page 5
Research Findings Summary......................................................Page 5
Detailed Results..........................................................................Page 9
1. Illinois Youth Survey
2. Survey on Sex (Adolescent Version & Parent Version)
3. Adolescent Focus Groups on Sex
4. Morton East School Personnel Survey
5. Cicero Youth Task Force Member Survey
6. Youth Health Summit
7. Providers Health Summit
Recommendations....................................................................Page 28
Recent Cicero Health Initiatives.................................................Page 32
Acknowledgements..................................................................Page 34
Appendices..............................................................................Page 36
1. Sources of Existing Research & Data utilized by the CCHI
2. Information and Data Collected through CCHI
3. David Robertson - Bio
Introduction
The idea for the Cicero Community Health Initiative was conceptualized by members of the Cicero Youth Task
Force – Health Committee in 2007. The mission of the Cicero Youth Task Force (CYTF) is to improve the well-being
of youth and families in Cicero through collaborative efforts. It was formed in 2003 by 40 individuals and organizations and has expanded to over 80 organizations and 200 members in 2009. Members represent local social
service agencies, school districts, police, government, civic groups and Cicero residents. The CYTF meets monthly
to share information, work toward improvement of existing services, and collaborate to secure new resources.
There are currently five working committee groups in the CYTF: Safety, Early Childhood, Youth Opportunities, Parent
Involvement, and Health.
The members of the Health Committee pursued organization and funding around the Cicero Community Health
Initiative (CCHI) in response to outwardly alarming adolescent health trends and concerns in Cicero, including increasing rates of teen pregnancy and youth violence. The Health Committee submitted a grant proposal to the
Chicago Community Trust’s Improving Lifestyle and Behavioral Choices Health Program. The proposal stated that
the CCHI would be a three-year project, focusing on obtaining data and research through community assessment
in year one, creating pilot programs, disseminating information and mobilizing the community in year two, and
evaluating outcomes to create a community health infrastructure that will work continuously to improve adolescent
health outcomes in year three.
The Chicago Community Trust awarded funding to the CCHI in 2008 and the project commenced in July of 2008
with the following mission and project description:
The Cicero Community Health Initiative, housed by Corazón Community Services, is a collaborative effort of the Cicero Youth
Task Force (CYTF) dedicated to adolescent health and well-being through programs, prevention and education. Cicero has
30,000 young people under the age of 19, almost 80% of which identify as Hispanic. According to the Center for Disease Control
(CDC), while the majority of high school students are showing overall improvement, Hispanic students continue to struggle in
health-related behaviors; this includes sexual risk behaviors, suicide attempts, drug use, weight issues, school attendance related
to safety and drug and alcohol use on school property, etc. (2008). The goal of the Cicero Community Health Initiative is to provide a comprehensive approach to meeting these and other health issues that youth face. This will be accomplished through
the identification and analysis of major health concerns, the building of community partnerships, and the creation of public
awareness campaigns.
4
The Study
The Health Committee worked diligently with collaborating parties to obtain accurate information and data collection samples representative of
the residents of Cicero. However, the study has limitations. The CCHI was
unable to obtain permission to add questions about sexual activity and
sexual health to the Illinois Youth Surveys administered to District 99
and 201 students, limiting the amount of data collected about this specific
topic. Although incentives including refreshments and Target gift cards
were offered, parent participation in focus groups was low.
All activities described in this report were conducted between July 2008
and October 2009. Almost 4,000 people, ranging from sixth graders to
parents of Cicero youth, CYTF members and Morton East school personnel, participated in surveys, focus groups, and summit discussions
centered on community adolescent health. All activities were culturally
sensitive. Materials were available in both English and Spanish and focus
groups were conducted in Spanish as needed. Focus groups with youth
were conducted in an age-appropriate format, utilizing ice breakers to
initiate discussion and appropriate language for better understanding.
Surveys and focus groups were conducted in familiar surroundings
(Corazón Community Services, schools, community health fairs, Cicero
Community Center). Health Summits were held at the Cicero Community
Center and at Corazon.
A detailed description of each portion of data collection is included immediately following the research summary. The majority of the information in this report was gathered and organized by members of the 2008
CYTF Health Committee which included representatives from Corazon
Community Services, Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero,
Pillars, the Morton School-Based Clinic, Family Focus Nuestra Familia,
The Children’s Clinic of Oak Park, The Children’s Center of
Cicero/Berwyn, Morton East High School, The University of Illinois Extension, the Cook County Department of Public Health and MacNeal Hospital. Chestnut Health Systems, the Illinois Department of Human
Services, the University of Illinois at Chicago – School of Public Health,
the Town of Cicero Health Department, School Districts 99 and 201, and
the staff of Corazon Community Services also played an active role in
data collection. The entirety of the CYTF also played an important role in
providing continuous input on the direction of CCHI research and active
participation in data collection.
Research Findings Summary
Top 5 Most Pervasive Adolescent Health Concerns in Cicero
1) Sexual Health specifically Teen Pregnancy
2) Mental Health specifically Depression & Suicide Attempts
3) Substance Use specifically Alcohol Use & Binge Drinking
4) Relationship/Dating Violence specifically Psychological/Emotional Abuse
5) Nutrition and Fitness specifically Obesity
Violence, specifically Gang Violence, was also identified as a top concern.
The CYTF Safety Committee administered a community safety assessment within the community in 2007-2008 and released the “Community
Safety Report” in the spring of 2008. Through the dissemination of information obtained during that assessment, several programs, including
Ceasefire, the Cicero Police Department Juvenile Improvement Project,
and the Parent Patrol, have been initiated or improved to address youth
and gang violence. The safety committee continues to focus on these
and other community safety and violence prevention initiatives, therefore
allowing the CCHI to focus on other pervasive concerns.
5
1. Teen Pregnancy and Sexual Health
The sexual health of Cicero youth served as the driving force for the initiation of the Cicero Community Health Initiative. For the first time in 14
years, the national teen pregnancy rate is on the rise . In Cicero, the teen
pregnancy rate at Morton East High School is drastically increasing, as
displayed in the figure below. At the end of the 2008-2009 school year,
there were a reported 120 pregnancies identified during the school year.
As of October 16th, 2009 (the 7th week of school), there were a reported
50 identified pregnancies for the new school year.
Sexually active Cicero adolescents (34%) begin having sexual intercourse at the age of 13. While 52% of Cicero adolescents answered parents most influence their decisions about sex, 51% of parents answered
friends most influence adolescent decisions about sex. 45% of Cicero
parents admit that they “do not know how” to speak to their son/daughter about sex, and 83% of parents said “yes”, they are, “interested in
learning more” about talking to their teen about sex, what to say, how to
say it, or when to start. Parents state they are more likely to discuss sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with their children than abstinence and
birth control. The majority of Cicero teens (61%) state their parents or
guardians do not discuss sex with them at home.
*Predicted number of pregnancies for the 2009-2010 school year
is approximately 200 based on the current number of pregnancies
(50) as of October 16th.
2. Mental Health/Depression
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2007, approximately 8% of youth ages 12-17 experienced
Major Depression. 2Of that age group, youth ages 12-13 experienced
Major Depression the least. At Unity Junior High, 33% of 8th graders
(approx. age 13) stated they felt “so sad or hopeless for a 2-week period”
within the last year that they stopped usual activities (part of the DSMIV criteria for a major depressive episode). Concurrently, 25% of Morton
East High School students also identified with this description, and
10.3% of students stated they “seriously considered attempting suicide” within the past year. See figure A2.
During focus groups, Cicero adolescents stated they are “not surprised”
by the high rate of teen pregnancy in their community. They believe teen
pregnancy is “normal” in Cicero. Some females stated that teen pregnancy has become “a fad”. They believe most adolescents do not use
condoms, and this is because “it does not feel as good” using them.
Some are too embarrassed to buy or ask for them. Both males and females state the “blame” is on females. Males stated sex becomes a form
of competition beginning in “6th grade”.
1
The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH). www.icah.org
6
During focus groups, Cicero parents were asked if they had experienced
any barriers in access to care for their children. They identified access
to mental health services as the most pervasive barrier.
Both Cicero parents and Morton East personnel identified marijuana use
amongst adolescents to be a more pervasive concern than alcohol use.
However, while approximately 30% of Cicero high school students state
they used marijuana during the past year, 68% state they have drank
alcohol in the past year. In focus groups, Cicero adolescents stated their
parents are more likely to discuss the harms of marijuana than the harms
of alcohol.
Providers and educators state they believe difficult family situations,
specifically affected by the economy, greatly impact the mental health of
adolescents, sending a message that they have “no future”, regardless
of education. These in turn lead to other behaviors such as “drug use,
bad relationships, pregnancy and gang involvement” as coping mechanisms or avoidance strategies.
Cicero adolescents are exposed to alcohol and/or drug abuse within families as 54% of high school students and 56% of 8th graders state “a
family member has had a severe alcohol/drug problem”. Their safety
is particularly compromised with regard to alcohol and/or drugs as 30%
of 6th graders, 35% of 8th graders, and 32% of high school students report “at least one incident in the past year of riding in a car driven by an
adult who had been drinking or using drugs”. 30% of 8th graders and
45% of high school students report they would “never” be caught by
their parents if they drank alcohol without their parents’ permission. Many
Cicero adolescents state their family “does not have clear rules” about
alcohol and drug use.
3. Drug/Alcohol Use
At Morton East, 38 % of high school students have used alcohol or
other drugs weekly in their lifetime, the majority within the past year.
More compelling is the data on binge drinking Defined by the IYS as
consuming 5 or more alcoholic beverages in a row, 27% of high school
students and 18% of 8th graders state they were binge drinking on at
least one occasion in the previous two weeks. Sixth graders (5%)
admitted to binge drinking.
2
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2007). www.childstats.gov.
7
According to the Illinois Youth Survey, 72% of Cicero 8th graders (approx. age 13) have already begun to date. Some students (4%) state
they have been “slapped, punched, hit, or threatened in a dating relationship”. The CDC recommends that curriculum to promote healthy relationships begin prior to the age of dating.
4. Relationship/Dating Violence
According to the CDC, dating violence (physical, sexual, and/or psychological/emotional) affects 9.3% of Hispanic students. 9% of Cicero high
school students report that they have been “abused in the past year” in
a dating relationship with over 20% of students identifying psychological/emotional abuse. Students recognized being “followed”, being
“called names to put your down or make you feel bad”, and a partner
“insisting on knowing who you’re with at all times” as examples of abusive behaviors they had experienced. See figure A4.
5. Obesity/Nutrition
In all 3 adolescent focus groups, Cicero teens identified “obesity” as
the #1 concern (aside from sexual health/pregnancy) in regards to the
health of themselves/their peers.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the
CDC, while childhood and adolescent obesity is overall on the rise, obesity amongst “Mexican American girls” is higher than that of non-hispanic white girls and obesity amongst “Mexican American boys” is
“significantly higher” than that of non-hispanic white boys and nonhispanic black boys.4
When asked how many days in the last week they ate vegetables, 17%
of high school students and 22% of 8th graders stated “none”. 11% of
high school students and 10% of 8th graders stated they participated in
a physical activity “0 days” in the last week. 34% of Cicero 8th graders
and 37% of Cicero high school students describe themselves as “overweight.
See figure A5.
National research indicates that relationship/dating violence is correlated
with many other risk-related health behaviors, including the top 3 concerns
mentioned above. The CDC reports that victims of dating violence are at
“increased risk to engage in binge drinking, suicide attempts, physical
fights, and sexual activity”3. Dating violence is also associated with negative self-esteem, negative body image, and unhealthy patterns of violence
in future relationships.
3
The Centers for Disease Control. www.cdc.gov
The Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Health Statistics.
http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/prevalence.html
4
8
According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 26% of Chicagoland
children and adolescents were “overweight or obese” as of December
2008.5
During the CCHI research period, districts 99 and 201 allowed for IYS
administration for 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. Testing took place at Unity
Junior High School and Morton East High School. Parents of students
received information about the IYS and were provided with an “Opt Out”
option in which their children were not required to participate in the IYS
upon parent signature.
District 99 also provided permission to the CCHI to obtain the 2006
District 99 6th grade IYS results.
Unity Junior High 8th Grade – 2009 Illinois Youth Survey Results
On December 19th, 2008, 305 Unity 8th grade students completed valid
IYS surveys. Administration took place at Unity Junior High. The surveys
were administered to all 8th grade students on one Unity floor during
one class period to obtain a viable representative sample. The average
age of participants was 13.4 years. Participants consisted of 154 females
and 147 males. The majority of participants identified as “Latino/Latina”
(87%, N=259), followed by “Multi-racial” (5%, N=15), and “Other” (5%,
N=15).
Detailed Results
The following tables and graphs display and exhibit results from the 2008
Unity IYS. Compelling information about adolescent depression, dating
and dating violence, alcohol use, family communication, and violence
was obtained from this survey.
1. Illinois Youth Survey
The Illinois Youth Survey (IYS), administered across the state by the Illinois Department of Human Services every other year, is dedicated to obtaining up to date information about youth substance use and related
problems in order to empower schools and communities to create solutions and build prevention methods. Though the main focus is on substance use (drugs and alcohol), the survey asks questions about physical
injury (violence/schools/relationships/suicide), peers, gambling, nutrition,
fitness, and parent involvement/family composition as well.
5
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. (2008)
http://www.rwjf.org/pr/product.jsp?id=36351
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Depression
Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking
In the past 12 months did you ever feel so sad or hopeless that you
stopped doing some usual activies?
How old were you the first time you:
(Figure B3) Unity 8th grade students who have had more than a “sip or
two” of alcohol most commonly had their first drink at the age of 10 or
younger. More than 20% of students indicate they have begun to drink
regularly (at least once or twice a month).
(Figure B1) One in three 8th grade students experienced symptoms of a
Major Depressive Episode within the 12 months before survey administration. This is approximately 4 times the national average for this age
group.
Alcohol: number of occasions of past month and past year use
Dating and Dating Violence
Have you ever been abused in a dating relationship?
In the past 2 weeks, how many times have you had five or more alcoholic
drinks in a row?
(Figure B4) More than 60% of 8th grade students admit to using alcohol
within the past year and 36% admit to use during the month before completing the survey. In the 2 weeks before the survey, 18% of 8th graders
report having had five or more alcoholic drinks in a row (binge drinking).
On another survey item, 10% of students reported being drunk or high
at school at least 1-2 times within the last year.
(Figure B2) Some 8th grade students (4%) state they have been
“slapped, punched, hit, or threatened in a dating relationship”. Only 28%
indicate they have not begun to date.
10
During the past year, how often did you get ALCOHOL from the following
sources?
Family Communication
Amount of time child spends alone each week after school
(Figure B5) Eighth grade students most frequently obtain alcohol from
parties, with 32% of students having gotten it from a party at least
“sometimes”. Almost 15% of students obtained alcohol from their parent
within the past year and 15% took alcohol from home without their parents knowing. On another survey item, 43% of 8th graders reported it
would be “easy” to get alcohol.
(Figure B7) Only 30% of 8th graders do not spend time alone each week
after school and 40% of 8th graders spend time alone after school on 3
or more days each week. Almost a quarter of these students spend more
than 3 hours alone per day on 3 or more days each week.
In the past year have your parents/guardians talked to you about not
using the following:
During the past 12 months, how many times have you ridden in a car
driven by:
(Figure B8) Approximately one-half of 8th graders report that their parents talk to them about not using tobacco, alcohol, and/or
marijuana/other illegal drugs. The other half report that their parents do
not talk to them about using, or they “do not remember” their parents
talking to them about using tobacco, alcohol, and/or marijuana/other illegal drugs. On another survey item, 27% of 8th graders reported that
their family “does not have clear rules about alcohol and drug use”.
th
(Figure B6) Within the last year, 35% of 8 graders had ridden in a car
driven by an adult and 15% had ridden in a car driven by a teenager who
had been drinking or using drugs.
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Morton East High School 10th, 11th, & 12th Grade – 2009 Illinois Youth
Survey Results
Substance Use and Violence
On February 9, 2009, 676 10th Grade, 827 11th Grade and 728 12th Grade
students (2,231 students total) completed valid Illinois Youth Surveys at
Morton East High School. Surveys were administered to students during
each physical education period. The survey administration was administered and proctored by the CCHI project coordinator, Morton East Administrators, and Physical Education Staff. Participants consisted of 1,130
females and 1,059 males. The majority of students identified as
“Latino/Latina” (92%, N=2,044) followed by “Multi-racial” (3%, N=55),
“White” (2%, N=4), and “Black/African American” (2%, N=42).
The following detailed graphs and tables provided by the IYS Morton
East Results are included below. Compelling information about alcohol
use, family communication, dating violence, depression, suicide ideation
and violence were obtained from this survey.
Figure B9
Alcohol Use
If you wanted to get alcohol, how difficult would it be to get?
(Figure C1) In each grade level, Morton East students report it is more
easy than hard to obtain alcohol. On average, 64% of students report it
would be at least “sort of easy” to get alcohol.
Figure B10
12
During the past year, how often did you get alcohol from the following
sources:
In the past 2 weeks, how many times have you had five or more alcoholic
drinks in a row?
(Figure C4) At Morton East, 22% of 10th graders, 26% of 11th graders,
and 33% of 12th graders reported binge drinking (had five or more alcoholic beverages in a row) at least one time within the 2 weeks before
taking the survey.
(Figure C2) Across grade levels, Morton East students state that they
most often got alcohol from a party (orange) or from a friend (blue), followed by from a parent (pink), and by giving money to a stranger to buy
it for them (green). On other survey items, 12% of students reported
drinking on school property at least 1 or 2 days in the last month. Thirteen percent of High School Seniors reported having driven a car at least
once in the past year when drinking alcohol.
Community Perception and Family Communication
How wrong would most adults (over 21) in your neighborhood think it
is for kids yours age to:
How old were you when you first:
(Figure C5) On average, slightly more than half (52%) of Morton East
students believe adults in Cicero think it is wrong or very wrong for kids
their age to drink alcohol. The other half (48%) believe adults in Cicero
think it is “a little bit” wrong or “not wrong at all” for adolescents to
drink.
Figure C3
13
Parental Views and Communication on Alcohol Use, Figure C6
(Figure C7) Between one-fourth and one-fifth of Morton East students
had experienced at least one form of psychological abuse in a dating relationship in the 12 months before the survey. While 9% of students identified with being “abused” in the past year, 22% identified with a partner
insisting on knowing where they were or who they were with at all times.
Fifteen percent identified with having been called names by a partner
and 10% report that a partner had destroyed something meaningful to
them.
Mental Health & Depression
On average, 81% of Morton East students believe their parents feel it
would be “very wrong” or “wrong” for them to drink alcohol regularly.
Approximately half of students (51%) report “yes”, their parents have
talked to them about not using alcohol within the last year. The other half
of students report “no”, their parents have not discussed not using alcohol, or they “do not remember”. Seventy percent of Morton East students report that their family has clear rules about alcohol and drug use.
(Figure C8) One in four Morton East students experienced symptoms of
a Major Depressive Episode within the 12 months before survey administration. This is approximately 3 times the national average for this age
group. One in ten Morton East students seriously considered attempting
suicide within the 12 months before the survey.
Dating Violence
During the past 12 months, have any of the following been done by
someone in a dating relationship with you?
(Figure C7) *14% of students have not begun to date – data represents the 86% that have begun dating
14
Substance Use and Violence
Figure C12
Figure C10
Figure C11
Figure C13
15
Surveys were administered between November 2008 and January 2009.
The survey was available in English and Spanish.Youth and Parents attending the Morton East report card pick-up night, the MacNeal Health
Fair at the Morton Freshman Center, Corazón Community Services, and
Project Change for the Future at Corazon were asked to voluntarily participate in the survey. Project change youth participants are usually
medium to high risk youth, meaning they are often involved in gangs,
were referred by the legal system, and/or are experiencing familial conflict
at home. The CCHI worked to engage low to high risk youth and parents
of low to high risk youth in order to obtain a valid sample, representative
of youth and parents in Cicero. Confidentiality was explained to participants verbally and in written direction on the survey.
Figure C14
2. Survey on Sex (Adolescent Version & Parent Version) (Section D)
Figure D1
The Adolescent Survey on Sex, written and administered by the CCHI,
was utilized as a data collection tool to obtain detailed information about
• How adolescents in Cicero view sex
• Sex education and its efficacy
• Use of contraception
• Age of first intercourse
• Influences regarding sex
• What teens want to learn more about, in regards to sex
Results
Youth participants reported that the majority of their parents and/or
guardians (55%) do not discuss sex with them. The majority of parents
(73%) state they have talked to their son/daughter about sex. The majority of parents (64%) believe their child is not sexually active or are
not sure (20%). The majority of youth (59%) stated they had not had
sexual intercourse, but many of those who were sexually active had sex
for the first time at age 13 (34%). See graph D2.
The Parent Survey on Sex, also written and administered by the CCHI,
was utilized as a data collection tool to obtain information about
• How parents perceive their child’s sexual activity
• Parental perception on their influence on their child’s decisions about sex
• How they feel about talking to their child about sex
6
Project Change for the Future is a life skills course offered at Corazon Community Services. It is a 16 session
program spread out over 8 weeks, covering topics such as anger management, conflict resolution, respect,
communication, violence prevention, substance abuse, and sexual health. Project Change is under the direction
of Ceasefire staff.
16
(Figure D3) While the majority of participants (57%) reported using a
condom the last time they had sex, 22% of participants were “not sure”
what pregnancy prevention method they used or reported using no
method to prevent pregnancy.
The next set of questions, regarding influences on decisions about sex,
was presented to both youth and parent participants. Questions were
worded in the following ways:
• To youth: Who most influences your decisions to not have sex?
• To parents: Who do you believe is most influential in your teens’ decisions about sex?
Both youth and parents were given the same 8 options and asked to circle only one:
• Boyfriend/Girlfriend
• Doctors
• Friends
• Parents
• Religion
• Teachers
• Television/Media
Of sexually active participants, 36% reported having had sex with 1 person in their lifetime, 23% reported having had sex with 2 people, 16%
reported having had sex with 3 people, and 11% reported having had
sex with 4 people. The majority of sexually active youth (55%) reported
having had sex with only 1 person in the past 3 months. Three-fourths
of sexually active participants state that they did not use alcohol or drugs
before having had intercourse the last time. Approximately 70% of these
participants report having used a condom last time they had sex, however on a separate survey item, only 57% of sexually active participants
reported using a condom the last time they had sex. See figure D3.
Figure D4 represents the information obtained from youth and parents on
this particular survey item:
The last time you had sexual intercourse, what one method did you or
your partner use to prevent pregnancy (select only one response)?
Figure D3
17
When asked who most influences their decisions not to have sex, the
majority of youth (52%) answered “parents”. When asked who most influences their teens’ decisions about sex, the majority of parents answered “friends”. Youth report that teachers are second most influential
(16%) followed by friends (14%). Parents believe they are second most
influential (46%) followed by Boyfriend/Girlfriends (Significant Other)
(34%) and the media (32%).
Figure D5
Youth were also asked to identify groups who most influence their decisions to have sex. Youth identify their significant others (boyfriends/girlfriends) to be most influential (25%). This is followed by television/media
(23%) and friends (23%).
3. Adolescent Focus Groups on Sex
From December 15th 2008 to January 6th 2009 three focus groups were
conducted at Corazón Community Services with 43 Cicero adolescents
to assess adolescent sexual activity and beliefs/attitudes about sex. 32
of these adolescents were Project Change for the Future participants
(medium to high risk youth) while the remaining 11 were participants at
the FUERZA Youth Center (low to medium risk youth). There were 13 female participants and 30 male participants. The average age of participants was 14.85 years. The average grade in school was 9.15.
When asked which topics surrounding sexuality they discuss with their
teens, parents reported they most often discuss sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) (52%). This was followed by pregnancy
(49%). Forty-one percent of parents discussed “not having sex until marriage” (41%). Parents were asked if the message, “Don’t have sex, but
if you do you should use birth control or protection” encourages teens
to have sex. Over half (53%) of parents answered yes, 37% answered
no, and 9% answered “don’t know”.
Each focus group participant also completed the adolescent “Survey on
Sex” directly preceding the focus group. Questions developed for the
group and posed during the group were written to obtain more detail
about the topics covered on the survey.
When asked if they feel they do know how to speak to their son/daughter
about sex, 45% of parents answered “agree” or “strongly agree”, 43%
of parents answered “disagree” or “strongly disagree”. Over 80% of parents answered “yes”, they are interesting in learning more about what to
say, how, and when to talk to their teens about sex. Sixty-eight percent
of youth answered “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they would be interested in attending workshops or classes about sex. When asked what
they’d like to learn more about, youth answered STDs (39%), Condoms
and Birth Control (37%), Pregnancy (31%), HIV & AIDS (23%), and Homosexuality – Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual (15%). See figure D5:
18
The following is a summary of broad themes and trends found in answers across all three groups.
Question 4
Between September 2007 and October 2008, there were 76 positive pregnancy tests in the Morton East School-Based clinic. Does this number
surprise you? Why do you believe the adolescent pregnancy rate is so
high in Cicero? Do you see this high rate as a problem? Why or why
not?
• No-Not Surprised by the pregnancy rate (all)
- “It’s just Cicero” “it’s a tradition”
- “Nobody uses condoms”
• Across groups, blame is placed on the female
- “Girls give it up too easily”
- “It is the females’ fault”
- “Girls think they can keep guys that way”
- Girls weren’t raised properly
- Parents let girls’ boyfriends in the house
- Girls should know guys always try to get it
• “Having a baby is a fad”
• Music and Media make pregnancy cool (Youth Center)
• Drugs and Alcohol influence the high rate (Project Change)
• High rate is “not a problem” (Project Change)
- “If you want to change the pregnancy rate, you’ll have to change
Cicero as a society”
• High rate “is a problem” (Youth Center)
- A problem if it is unexpected and unplanned – parents need to
be behind it
• Project Change Group 2 had many questions about statutory rape
laws*
Question 1
Reflect upon completing the survey (Survey on Sex). Were there certain
questions/topics that stood out to you? What were they and how did
they make you feel?
• Both Project Change groups responded “None”
• Youth Center group responded:
- “I’ve never been taught about HIV in school”-Freshman Participant
Question 2
Why were these questions/topics thought provoking, uncomfortable, etc?
• No responses
Question 3
The survey asks about condom use. What reasons do you believe adolescents have for not using condoms?
*National data cites “fear of parents finding out” as the primary reason for not using
contraceptives; Other reasons: embarrassment; drug/alcohol use
• “It doesn’t feel as good” Project Change Groups
• “Don’t want to take the time to put it on” Project Change Groups
• Embarrassed to buy or ask for them (At Corazon included) One
Project Change Group
• “Don’t have one with you/not prepared” One project change group
• “Think they’re ready to have kids/Say they’re not going to get
pregnant” Youth Center Group
• “They think it’s cool (to not use one)” Youth Center Group
• Project Change groups disagree with “fear of parents finding out”;
Youth Center group believe there is a “Lack of communication”
between teens and parents
• “Agree that drug/alcohol use is a reason for not using condoms”
All participants.
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Question 5
Local and National data states that teens continue to say that parents
most influence their decisions about sex. Do you agree? Why or why
not?
Who influences your decisions about sex? Why?
• Yes-parents most influence (Youth Center and one Project Change)
They talk about STDs
-“My mom gives me condoms – its effective”
• “No-parents have the most influence when you’re a kid” Project
Change 2
- “At the end of the day, its your decision”
• Affected by the media (Project Change)
- The Simpsons
- Family Guy
• Affected by boyfriend/girlfriend (Project Change)
• “Parents should make it more comfortable to discuss by joking
about it but be serious also” Youth Center
• Affected by abortion – Youth Center
- “Got treated poorly-Heartbroken”
- “Guys don’t even think”
• It goes back to parents and kids discussions (Youth center)
- “Latino parents are undereducated on this topic”
- Should be an ongoing conversation
- Should have peer counselors at school to talk about it with
Question 7
Most teens and adults feel that boys often receive a message that they
are “expected to have sex”. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
• All agree
• Influenced by peers – all groups
- “Think you have to be in the sex hall of fame starting in 6th
grade” Project Change
- “Guys and girls lie about sexual experience”
- “You’re gay if you don’t”
- Feel pressure in junior high
• Influenced by the media (Youth Center)
Question 6
Nationally, 60% say they wish they had waited to have sexual intercourse.
How do you feel about this statement? Does anyone agree? Why do you
think this is?
• All agree (Youth Center and 1 Project Change)
• Half Agree (Project Change 2)
- “If you’re gonna do it, be 100%”
- “Probably mostly girls wish they waited”
• They didn’t think about the consequences (All Groups)
- Diseases
- Pregnancy
• People our own age
Question 8
What information regarding sexual health have you learned through
health programs at school? What could be improved?
• Talk about Consequences of having sex/STDs the most – all groups
- Talk about sex more than abstinence (Youth Center)
- STD pictures only effect you for the day (Project Change)
- Helpful to talk about STDs because you know whats out there
(Proj Change)
• Need to promote abstinence more often (Youth Center and 1 Project
Change)
- “Give too many options”
• Kids don’t like rules
- “We’re ignorant”
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• Sexual Health Curriculum should be a focus all throughout high
school
• More details about STDs and what happens after a child is born
• Get parents involved
• Start teaching sexual health 5th/6th grade (Youth Center)
• Media glamorizes pregnancy – American Life of the Teenager
• Video games
4. Morton East School Personnel Survey
In March 2009, students from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
School of Public Health collaborated with the CCHI to create a data collection tool for personnel at Morton East High School. The purpose of
the survey was to obtain school employee perceptions of the most pervasive adolescent health concerns visible within the school. UIC Public
Health students wrote and constructed the survey, and it was administered through Morton East Administration. UIC Public Health students
then collected the completed surveys and synthesized the data. This information and other CCHI data were used for a school research assignment.
Question 9
What is the best way for organizations like Corazon to get your attention
regarding sexual health information? What do you want to learn more
about?
• Do it through the schools (Project Change and Youth Center)
• “More things like this”
• “Do it so no one feels left out – Separate into age and gender”
(Project Change and Youth Center)
• Offer mentoring on this topic (Youth Center)
• Teach more about consequences
• Young Moms should come in to talk (Youth Center)
• Abortion as a topic (Youth Center)
Question 10
In your opinion, name three topics regarding adolescent health that are
most concerning regarding your peers and yourself?
• Obesity (All Groups)
- Diabetes
- Eating Disorders
- Nutrition
• Drugs (All Groups)
• Sleep (All Groups)
• Vaccines (Project Change)
• Child Abuse (Youth center)
• Relationships (Youth Center)
The survey asked school personnel to rank health problems by category
and then again by specific health concerns. Ranking by category allowed
for concerns to be grouped by common factors. Ranking by specific
health concerns allowed for personnel to identify particular concerns
under a health category umbrella. Lists of provided health categories and
specific health concerns are provided below:
Health Categories
Sexual Health
Communicable Diseases
Substance Abuse
Mental Health
Oral Health
Physical Fitness
Violence
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Specific Health Concerns
Pregnancy
Cold
Illicit Drug Use
Depression
Alcohol
Physical Inactivity
Peer Violence
Obesity
Abuse
The survey was completed by 57 Morton East personnel, including teachers, counselors, administrators, and social workers. The following detailed
graphs, provided by students of the UIC School of Public Health, depict
the perceptions of Morton East School personnel.
5. Cicero Youth Task Force Member Survey
On February 20, 2009, members of the Cicero Youth Task Force (CYTF)
were asked to complete a short survey on adolescent health concerns.
The purpose of the survey was to obtain youth providers’ perceptions of
adolescent health and areas of concern. The survey was written and constructed by the CCHI and administered by the project coordinator. The
administration of the survey took place during a regular CYTF monthly
meeting.
CYTF members were asked to select, from a list, 5 areas that are most
concerning when it comes to the health and well-being of Cicero adolescents and rank them 1 to 5, 1 being most concerning. The provided
list of concerns was as follows:
Gang Violence
Depression
Pregnancy
Drug Use
Relationship Violence
Obesity
Alcohol Use
STDs
Dental Care
Physical Activity
Cigarettes
Allergies
(Figure F1) According to Morton East personnel, the top five most pervasive health concerns facing adolescents are: 1) Pregnancy 2) Peer Violence 3) Illicit Drug Use 3) Cold 5) Obesity 5) Depression.
Nutrition
Anxiety
Access to Care
Cutting
School Violence
Sleep
Other
Eating Disorders
Asthma
HIV/AIDS
Suicide
Inhalant Use
The survey was completed by 20 members of the CYTF. The following
detailed graphs depict the perceptions of CYTF members. The first graph
shows the distribution of #1 marked concerns. The second graph shows
concerns most frequently marked, regardless of rank.
(Figure F2) According to Morton East personnel, the top five health problem categories are: 1) Sexual Health 2) Violence 3) Substance Abuse 4)
Physical Fitness 5) Communicable Diseases 5) Mental Health
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Providers were asked to reflect upon their choice of #1 most concerning area in the preceding question and explain reasons and observations behind their choice:
“Family issues cause kids to act out and go into gangs, use substances,
engage in sex.”
- Jennifer Froemel, Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero
“Limited access to care impacts all health related issues and widens the
percentage of health disparities among residents in Cicero.”
- Tonia Singletary, Cook County Department of Public Health
“Teen pregnancy rates were already high in Cicero and have risen 2-fold
this year. The problem I’m seeing is that a lot of these pregnancies are
due to young girls and guys wanting a baby. Most are not accidental.
Also, the younger the girl – the longer she waits to confirm her pregnancy and see a Doctor.”
- Jennifer Bonhard, The Children’s Center – Morton East High School
(Figure G1) Pregnancy was overwhelming identified as the #1 adolescent
health concern as perceived by CYTF members, in concurrence with the
overall results. Obesity, depression, dating violence, and gang violence
also appear on this graph. The “top 5” concern not appearing is alcohol
use.
“I think that youth feel depressed – parents are without work which
means paying bills is non existent. Some families have trouble buying
groceries and clothes. Youth struggle in school and feel why should I
learn what difference will it make. “I have no future”. These feelings of
depression head to other things on the list such as drug use, bad relationships, pregnancy and gang involvement.”
- Amy Barth, Youth Crossroads
“Teen pregnancy is not viewed as a ‘social problem’ in Cicero. It is familiar and viewed as acceptable by many youth. It appears to be cyclical
in many families. It is important to highlight opportunities for the future
to deter adolescents from teen pregnancy and use protection or abstain.”
- Mary Johnson, Corazón Community Services
(Figure G2) Providers most frequently marked: 1) Gang Violence 2) Depression 3) Pregnancy 3) Drugs 5) Dating Violence. Obesity and alcohol
followed shortly behind, but do not appear in the top five.
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“Babies get off to a rough start and the cycle of struggle continues
through the generations (in regards to teen pregnancy).”
- Rosalind Larsen, Cook County Department of Public Health – AOK
Network
Youth participants were challenged to think critically about the information presented in the results of the CCHI and how it affects their peers
and themselves. Participants were split up into 5 groups, one for each of
the identified pervasive health concerns (Teen Pregnancy, Depression, Alcohol Abuse, Relationship Violence, and Obesity). Each group had approximately 16 to 18 participants and one youth and/or CYTF facilitator.
During the first summit session (Aug. 1), groups were asked to answer
a set of questions regarding their specified topic.
“I work in the schools and this is our #1 problem without question. We
have more incidents of gang activity i.e. graffiti, having to counsel people
being approached by gangs to join, trying to get out of gangs, after
school gang fights, etc. We have over 28 active gangs affecting 3rd grade
to 8th grade.”
- Anonymous
Discussion Questions (Part 1)
1. How visible is this concern within your school and community?
2. What services already exist to help with this concern? Are these
services effective? In what ways?
3. What’s missing in addressing this issue?
6. Youth Health Summit
On August 1 and August 24, 2009, 83 Cicero youth ranging in age from
13 to 19 participated in the CCHI Teen Health Summit. The purpose of the
summit was to initiate youth health awareness and obtain youth input
on addressing pervasive adolescent health concerns in Cicero. The Teen
Health Summit was facilitated by the CCHI Project Coordinator with assistance from the Youth Health Ambassadors. Target of Cicero donated
$150 in gift cards to Corazón Community Services to use as incentives
for attendance. Youth were encouraged to refer as many friends as possible to attend the event. The three youth participants who recruited the
most youth to attend were awarded gift cards.
Groups were given approximately one hour to answer the questions and
reported out to the summit at large. The small group discussion was followed by a one-hour, special presentation by David Robertson. David
was introduced to the community during May of 2009 when he presented to a group of 20 Youth Health Ambassadors during a training. The
Health Ambassadors reported that David’s presentation was “powerful”
and something that “all youth in Cicero should see”. (See Appendix 4
for David’s Bio) The August 1st session closed with presentations by the
Youth Leadership Program from Youth Crossroads and an invitation to
part two of the Teen Health Summit.
On August 1, the summit convened at the Cicero Community Center. Participants were first presented with adolescent health trivia games and an
introduction to the CCHI. This was followed by a half hour PowerPoint
presentation displaying the results of each part of the data collection
process: youth and parent surveys on sex, adolescent focus groups, parent focus groups and survey, IYS for 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade,
CYTF survey, and Morton East High School Personnel survey.
Youth participants reconvened at the Corazon Community Services on
August 24th for the second session of the Teen Summit. Participants first
debriefed on the information disseminated, small group discussions, and
David Robertson’s presentation during part one of the summit. The youth
were then asked to reorganize into five groups, one for each of the identified pervasive concerns as they did on August 1st.
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Groups were asked to answer a different set of questions, this time focusing on strategies to address the specific health concern and improve
adolescent health outcomes.
Engage and Educate Parents with Bilingual Programs
Youth indicate that parents play a large role in adolescent health. They
suggest increasing the number of parent involvement activities, through
the school districts and through community-based organizations. Youth
continuously reinforced the message that parent activities must be available in Spanish. They suggested that parent activities include food and
refreshments, child care, and incentives, and that programs advertise
through “direct mail”. Youth suggested having “mandatory” parent involvement in early sexual education curriculum. They specifically recommended that Morton East High School create a Parent Teacher Student
Organization (PTSO).
Discussion Questions (Part 2)
1. How do we get the word out to youth and parents?
2. How do we get parents interested and involved?
3. How do we improve current programs? What should new programs
look like?
4. What can we do to keep you involved?
Groups were given approximately one hour to answer the questions and
then reported out to the summit at large. This was followed a discussion
on main ideas and common themes that arose throughout the small
group discussions and report outs. Upon close of summit, youth were
asked to sign up for the Youth Health Ambassadors project if they were
interested in helping to impact adolescent health through the CCHI. All
youth participants signed up.
Common Themes and Main Ideas
Identified Health Concerns are Very Visible, Except Dating Violence
Youth participants stated that Teen Pregnancy, Depression, Alcohol Abuse
and Obesity are things they encounter “every day”. They encounter pregnant young women in school regularly. They hear people “talking about
drinking” daily. They witness depression in their “friends, teachers, family
members” and experience it themselves. They believe “25%” of youth
in Cicero are obese. Youth state dating violence in the exception, that it
is “not visible, unless you are having a relationship with that person”.
Participants stated they are aware of services available for dating violence
but know that youth “won’t get help unless they feel empowered”. Youth
challenged providers to “empower” them to get help for themselves.
Address Adolescent Health During School
Youth participants consistently suggested that each of the pervasive
health concerns be addressed through in-school health curriculum.
Specifically, youth suggest that “comprehensive”, age-appropriate,
“mandatory” sex education begin in 3rd or 4th grade. Participants advise that parents also be involved in this process. Youth recommend that
in-school support groups for depression, substance abuse, and dating violence be readily available. Participants suggested that schools offer healthier food options in the cafeteria and cooking classes during the school
day. Youth also recommended health-focused in-school assemblies and
community bulletin boards.
Create Programs Youth Can Relate To
Youth participants state they are more likely to engage in programs that
they feel they can “relate” to. Participants suggested programs with testimonials from local youth and families of local youth.
25
They recommended have youth designed and youth led programs. Youth
also suggested incentives for youth programs such as bikes to encourage
physical activity.
Discussion Questions (Part 2)
1. Strategize to address this issue through information dissemination
2. Strategize to address this issue through parent involvement
3. Strategize to address this issue through growth of existing programs
4. Strategize to address this issue through filling in the gaps
5. Strategize to address this issue through collaborations
7. Providers Health Summit
On May 27, 2009, forty members of the CYTF representing over 25 different agencies participated in the CCHI Summit on Adolescent Health.
The purpose of the summit was to initiate the action planning process
to address adolescent health in Cicero, based on the results of the research and data obtained by the CCHI assessment process. The Summit
on Adolescent Health was facilitated by the CCHI Project Coordinator.
Groups were given approximately 45 minutes to answer each set of questions. Each group reported out to the summit twice, once after each set
of questions. The summit closed with a discussion on main ideas and
common themes that arose throughout the small group discussions and
report outs.
Summit participants were first presented with a welcome and introduction to the CCHI followed by a half hour presentation exhibiting the results
of each part of the data collection process: youth and parent surveys on
sex, adolescent focus groups, parent focus groups and survey, IYS for
6th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, CYTF survey, and Morton East Personnel
survey.
Common Themes and Main Ideas
Collaboration Amongst Educational Institutions
Participants across groups suggested that educational institutions serving all age groups (Pre-K, District 99, District 201, Morton College) work
together to address the health of children, adolescents and young adults.
Participants encouraged collaboration to provide continuity in regular
and ongoing health curriculum and parent engagement strategies.
Participants were challenged to think about the information obtained during the CCHI research period (year 1), and how the CYTF and community
at large can begin to address major areas of adolescent health concern
in year 2. Participants were split up into 5 groups, one for each of the
identified pervasive adolescent health concerns (Teen Pregnancy, Depression, Alcohol Abuse, Relationship Violence, and Obesity).
Increase and Improve Parent Involvement
Participants suggested more collaborative, culturally-sensitive, bilingual
parent engagement programs through the school districts and community-based organizations. Providers focused on the “Parent University”
model as a successful model. Participants stressed the importance of
child care, location, and incentives (raffles, gift cards, refreshments) to
increase parent engage ment. Participants also suggested training parents to be “Parent Leaders”, working as peer-to-peer advocates. Providers
recom mended initiating programs to engage the whole family, bringing
parents and youth together.
Discussion Questions (Part 1)
1. How visible is this concern within your organizations?
2. What current programs work to address this issue?
3. What are the gaps in service surrounding this issue?
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Increase Information Dissemination
Each group suggested the monthly “Town of Cicero News” as an important means of advertising health events and disseminating information
about health. Participants recommended creating a regular health section
in the Town News with continuing submissions from the CCHI. Participants suggested disseminating information through the faith-based communities, billboards, movie previews, the park district, and school
newspapers. Youth led initiatives in which youth would be trained to disseminate health information to their peers were also suggested.
Initiate Prevention Programs
Providers suggested more programs focused on prevention, across each
major area of concern. Parent education, early and continuing comprehensive health education (including sex ed), and information about and
access to family planning were suggested as methods to prevent teen
pregnancy. Parent involvement, increased number of mental health
providers (including school social workers) and the break-down of cultural stigmas attached to mental health services were mentioned as
methods to prevent depression. Parent education, specifically regarding
supervision and youth access to alcohol, and youth-led testimonials and
messaging were suggested regarding alcohol abuse prevention. Providers
focused on the perception that verbal abuse and controlling behaviors
are not considered real “abuse” regarding relationship violence and prevention. Participants suggested there needs to be more programs in the
community reaching out to youth and parents about dating violence and
to utilize pop-culture instances of dating violence as examples. Providers
suggested utilizing pro athletes as speakers, making nutrition facts more
readily visible, and initiating health cooking classes to provide obesity
prevention.
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Recommendations
Having identified the top five most pervasive adolescent health concerns
in Cicero, the Cicero Community Health Initiative (CCHI) has fulfilled its
goal for year one.
The CCHI will now work to accomplish its goals for year two: Disseminate the information obtained, mobilize the community, and create an
action plan to address the identified concerns
The CCHI will hold a community summit in December 2009 to create an
action plan based on the recommendations presented in this report. The
following recommendations are based on the ideas generated by youth
and by providers at the health summits. Each recommendation is intended to impact and address each of the identified concerns.
Top 5 Most Pervasive Adolescent Health Concerns in Cicero
1) Sexual Health specifically Teen Pregnancy
2) Mental Health specifically Depression & Suicide Attempts
3) Substance Use specifically Alcohol Use & Binge Drinking
4) Relationship/Dating Violence specifically Psychological/Emotional Abuse
5) Nutrition and Fitness specifically Obesity
*Gang Violence identified as a top five concern. Not a direct focus of the CCHI.
• Integrate Health into Education Regularly, Continuously, and
Comprehensively
• Improve and Increase Bilingual Parent Involvement Education and
Opportunities
• Expand Methods of Information Dissemination on Health-Related
Knowledge
• Give Youth Opportunities to Lead and Influence Health Programs
• Increase Access to Care in Regards to Identified Pervasive
Adolescent Concerns
It is important to acknowledge the interconnectedness of each of the six
concerns identified. For example, as stated by the CDC, dating violence
often leads to teen pregnancy, suicide and substance abuse. Gang violence is often associated with substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and dating violence. Adolescent depression is often associated with physical
appearance and substance use. The cycle goes on. Working to address
and decrease one of the identified concerns can indirectly lead to addressing and decreasing another or several more.
CYTF health committee members propose expanding further upon the
recommendations of youth and providers. The health committee recommends action and advocacy on three levels:
• Through Education
• Through Services Offered in the Community
• Through Changes in Policy
The following are the combined recommendations of youth, providers
and the CYTF health committee.
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Recommendation #1: Integrate Health into Education Regularly, Continuously,
and Comprehensively
• Through Education
-Educational Institutions (Early Childhood, District 99, District 201,
Morton College) can work collaboratively to offer regular, continuing
health curriculum that provides consistent messages and appeals to
common goals and health outcomes
-Initiate comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual education curriculum
in schools beginning in 5th grade
-Regularly educate school teachers and personnel (administrators,
counselors, social workers) on pertinent child/adolescent health
topics
• Through Services Offered in the Community
-Offer health education programs in collaboration with or outside
of the school districts
-Local medical providers, clinics and hospitals can offer health
education services
• Through Changes in Policy
-Advocate for the amending of policies regarding sexual health
education in order to allow for more evidence-based, comprehensive
curriculum
-Advocate for changes in policy regarding sexual health education at
both the state and federal level through the Illinois Caucus for
Adolescent Health (ICAH)
-Continue to work to build a parent organization to hold regular,
bilingual parent events (district 201)
-Work collaboratively to host bilingual, culturally appropriate
parent education events and opportunities to avoid duplication
-School health programs can work to integrate parent involvement
components into curriculum
• Through Services Offered in the Community
-Provide bilingual, culturally appropriate parent education opportunities
outside of the schools and also work collaboratively with school
districts
-Work to obtain grants specifically to provide training and stipend
opportunities for parents to become peer to peer educators
-Community services targeted specifically to youth can work to
incorporate more parent involvement activities
• Through Changes in Policy
-Advocate for the amending of school district policies regarding
health curriculum so that parents would be required or strongly
encouraged to attend a specific number of health lectures per
school year. Community-based organizations, community members,
and local government can work together to advocate for this
change
-Advocate for the amending of town and state punitive policies
regarding minor substance use or possession charges to
incorporate parent participation
Recommendation #2: Improve and Increase Bilingual Parent Involvement Education and
Opportunities
• Through Education
-Continue to build upon its existing, bilingual Parent Empowerment
Programs (PEP) by continuing to collaborate with outside organizations
and holding the Parent University event (district 99)
Recommendation #3: Expand Methods of Information Dissemination
on Health-Related Knowledge
• Through Education
-Increase number of health-related classes and curriculums
in districts 99 and 201
-Expand and create parent involvement programs
29
-Incorporate bilingual health messages into school newspapers,
newsletters, and websites
-Utilize video announcement systems available within schools to show
health-related public service announcements
• Through Services Offered in the Community
-Utilize the “Town of Cicero News”(bilingual, monthly newsletter sent
home to every home) to send messages about health and advertise
health events
-Make use of community billboards to send health messages bilingually
-Work with the park districts
-Disseminate through the CYTF
• Through Changes in Policy
-Advocate to change school districts’ policies regarding the prohibition
of dissemination of community information within the schools
-Advocate for continuing District 99 and 201 participation in the Illinois
Youth Survey so that health trends can be tracked and community
adolescent health outcomes can be evaluated
-Expand and continue youth internship opportunities in the Town of
Cicero Clinic, the Morton School Based Health Center, and other local
clinics
-Encourage Cicero youth to apply for and be a part of theYouth
Council at ICAH
-Advocate for youth-led initiatives headed by ICAH
-Advocate for policy change that would require a specific number
of Cicero youth to sit on the Town of Cicero Health Board
Recommendation #5: Increase Access to Care in Regards to Identified
Pervasive Adolescent Concerns
• Through Education
-Introduce district 99 and district 201 students to “Project Catch
It”(a web-based mental health module for adolescents) as method
for communication skill-building and depression prevention
-Allow local mental health, reproductive health, substance abuse,
dating/domestic violence, and nutrition/physical fitness provider to
present and advertise their services to district 99 and 201 students
-Allow the Morton School Based Health Center to utilize its title X
funding to prescribe and dispense contraceptives
• Through Services Offered in the Community
-Initiate mental health and sexual health services at the Town of
Cicero Health Department Clinic
-Train appropriate CYTF member organizations to implement “Project
Catch It” as a method primarily for depression prevention through the
development of coping mechanisms. Project Catch It can also be
utilized as a depression intervention method by assisting youth with
coping mechanism development if they are on a waiting list to receive
traditional therapy
Recommendation #4: Give Youth Opportunities to Lead and Influence
Health Programs
• Through Education
-Incorporate staff and student-led health clubs or organizations into
each local educational institution
-Require that a specific number of District 201 students sit on the
Morton School Based Health Center Advisory Board
• Through Services Offered in the Community
-Work to obtain grants that will expand the “Health Ambassadors”,
“Youth Leadership”, and other health-related programs offering
youth employment opportunities and peer to peer training
-Require that a specific number of Cicero youth provide regular
input into CYTF Health Committee projects and initiatives
30
-Utilize the Illinois Department of Human Services’ “Say It Out
Loud” mental health campaign materials throughout the community
to encourage youth and adults to address mental health as a regular
part of being healthy
-Establish community partnerships between providers to apply for
collaborative grants to address any and/or all of the identified
pervasive concerns (i.e. the Illinois Children’s Mental Health
Initiative being pursued by Family Service and Mental Health Center
of Cicero and Pillars)
• Through Changes in Policy
-Advocate for District 201’s school board and administration to
amend policies restricting the Morton School Based Health Center
from prescribing and dispensing contraceptives
-Advocate for increased funding from the state for programs addressing
pregnancy prevention, family planning, mental health, substance
abuse, dating/domestic violence, and nutrition and rally against state
budget cuts to increase access to care
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Recent Health Initiatives
“Adolescent Males in Cicero, Illinois – Attitudes Toward Teen Fatherhood and Sexual Activity” Survey research completed for the Cook
County Dept. of Public Health by Corazon Community Services
This study was initiated in response to the CCHI Adolescent
Focus Group Report on Sex. The survey report was completed
in June 2009. Copies are available at Corazon. Part 2, focus
groups based on the results of the survey, is currently in progress.
Youth Crossroads Youth Leadership Program – Teen Pregnancy
In response to the results of the CCHI, the Youth Crossroads
Youth Leadership Program is focusing on teen pregnancy. Three
projects have been initiated: Prevention, Intervention, and a special
Male Focus.
Health Ambassadors – Corazon Community Services
In May 2009, Corazón Community Services hired 20 youth as
Health Ambassadors. They were formally trained by IDPH,
MAGIC and Beyond Care Inc. Health Ambassadors serve as advocates
to their peers, informing them about health and encouraging them to live
healthy.
Lead Safe Illinois – Community Lead Summit, September 22, 2009
In early 2009, Cicero was identified as a “target community” by
Lead Safe Illinois. The majority of housing in Cicero was built be
fore 1979, indicating that many houses contain lead-based paint.
Several community organizations have organized around this
topic to create a strategic plan to address this issue.
Chicago BREATHE Project (Asthma Education Series)
The University of Chicago Hospitals and Corazón Community Services
established a community partnership in September 2008 in order to
address asthma in Cicero. Bilingual residents and fellows come to the
community at least once each month to provide education about asthma
and healthy living.
Ceasefire Week 2009 – “A Peaceful Community is a Health Community”
Corazón Community Services partnered with the Illinois Depart
ment of Public Health (IDPH), MAGIC, and Beyond Care Inc. to
host the first ever health-focused Ceasefire Week. Twenty youth
were trained as health ambassadors and assisted to host
a health fair on the last day of Ceasefire week.
Teen REACH
Teen Reach is an after school program run by Youth Crossroads,
Inc. in partnership with School District #99 and Corazon Community
Services. It effectively serves 50 at-risk 7th and 8th graders through
homework help, recreational activities, educational field trips and life skills
training. The life skills component specifically focuses on assisting youth
in making healthy life choices through healthy relationships, decision
making, nutrition, dependability, stress management, and team work.
Teen Pregnancy Primary Prevention Expansion
The Illinois Department of Human Services awarded a Teen Pregnancy
Primary Prevention grant to Corazón Community Services
to work to implement pregnancy prevention programs at Morton
East High School and in the community.
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The United Way Latino Initiative
Corazón Community Services, Pillars, Family Service and Mental
Health Center of Cicero, Youth Crossroads, Through A Child’s Eyes,
Catholic Charities, Family Focus Nuestra Familia and Youth Outreach
Services will work together to utilize United Way Grant Funding to provide
youth and parents with fellowship opportunities. Fellows will serve as
community educators for their peers.
Choose Respect
Choose respect is an initiative developed by the CDC to help
youth form healthy relationships and to prevent dating abuse
before it starts. The initiative is designed to engage adolescents,
motivate them to challenge harmful beliefs about dating abuse, and take
steps to form respectful relationships. Corazón Community Services
provides Choose Respect programming at Morton East High School
Morton East School-Based Health Center Advisory Board
The Morton East School Based Health Center Advisory Board was
originally initiated to advocate keeping the health center open during
Cook County budget cuts in 2007. The advisory board meets monthly to
continue advocacy for the health center and plan for continuing and
improving services.
Town of Cicero – Mental Health Expansion
In collaboration with Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero,
the Town of Cicero Health Department’s Clinic will expand its services to
include mental health in early 2010. The goal of this expansion is to
provide holistic health services.
The Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation – Children’s Mental
Health Initiative
Family Service and Mental Health Center of Cicero and Pillars are working
collaboratively with other organizations serving Cicero and Berwyn to
apply for a grant supporting the mental health of children. This initiative
will work to improve mental health systems of care.
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Acknowledgements
The CYTF Health Committee acknowledges the Chicago Community Trust
with immense gratitude for making the Cicero Community Health Initiative (CCHI) possible. The Chicago Community Trust’s health program
awarded a grant for “Improving Lifestyle and Behavioral Choices”; this
provided funding for the CCHI Project Coordinator, data collection and
synthesis, and the production of this report. The Health Committee would
also like to thank the Safety NetWorks for providing the additional funding
needed to complete this project.
The Health Committee would also like to acknowledge the many organizations and individuals who worked collaboratively and cooperatively to
build a comprehensive initiative. The Town of Cicero, with special assistance from the Health Department, provided vital assistance with facilitating CCHI events, providing space, and disseminating information.
Chestnut Health Systems and the Illinois Department of Human Services
provided accommodating help with the Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) as a
data collection method and provided data synthesis. The administration
from both District 99 and 201 accommodatingly allowed for data collection during the school day and at after school events. Staff at Unity Junior
High and Morton East High School provided immense help with inschool IYS administration. Students in the Masters in Public Health Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, led by Amber DiMascio,
worked collaboratively and creatively with the CCHI to conceptualize a
data collection tool for Morton East staff; these students contributed to
the CCHI by writing, administering and synthesizing data from a survey.
Special thanks go out to Rory Slater, Regional Health Officer and Dr.
Damon Arnold, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Carlos
Meyers from MAGIC and Beyond Care Inc., David Robertson, State Representative Lisa Hernandez, Rosalind Larsen and Valerie Webb from the
Cook County Department of Public Health, Target of Cicero, the University
of Chicago Hospitals, and the Health Ambassadors for their dedication
to adolescent health in Cicero and assistance with putting the results of
the CCHI into action.
The entire staff of Corazon Community Services and agency interns provided vastly supportive assistance and hard work throughout the entirety
of the data collection process; without their help, the CCHI would not
have been possible.
Finally, the Health Committee would like to acknowledge and thank the
thousands of Cicero participants (youth, parents, teachers, and providers)
and the entirety of the membership of the Cicero Youth Task Force for
their open and active involvement in the CCHI.
34
The Cicero Community Health Initiative was conceptualized, organized
and initiated by the members of the Cicero Youth Task Force (CYTF)
Health Committee 2008 & 2009. Those members include:
Tammi A. Reynolds
Community Health Educator, University of Illinois Extension
Fabiola Zavala
Community Health, MacNeal Hospital
Adam M. Alonso
Executive Director, Corazon Community Services
Ariana Ibarra
Health Programs Assistant, Corazon Community Services
Maria Castillo
Social Worker, Morton School-Based Health Center, Cook County Bureau
of Health Services
David Terrazino
Facilitator, Cicero Youth Task Force
Executive Director, Youth Crossroads
Jennifer Froemel
Co-Chair, CYTF Health Committee
Program Director, Family Services and Mental Health Center of Cicero
Bina Habibi
Early Childhood Educator, The Children’s Center of Cicero & Berwyn
Mary E. Johnson
Cicero Community Health Initiative Project Coordinator,
Manager of Health Services, Corazon Community Services
Elizabeth Lippitt
Executive Director, The Children’s Clinic
Dr. Nike Mourikes
Physician, Morton School-Based Health Center, Cook Country Bureau of
Health Services
Michelle Murray
School Social Worker, Morton East High School
Mariana Osoria
Director, Family Focus Nuestra Familia
Anna Padron-Sikora
Co-Chair, CYTF Health Committee
Associate Vice President of Children’s Services, Pillars
35
Appendices
Appendix 1
7. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
• Dating Violence Fact Sheet
Sources of Existing Research & Data utilized by the CCHI
Appendix 2
1. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH)
• The Cicero Community Profile (2005) Most Recent
• Excerpts from the CCDPH Diabetes Report (2005)
o Specifically focused on trends in minority populations and the
Hispanic population
• Bronchitis and Asthma Hospitalization Rate Under Age 18 – Cicero
(2008)
• School Enrollment Minority Students – Cicero (2008)
• School Enrollment Low Income Students – Cicero (2008)
• Evaluation of Adolescent Sexual Health Information in Cicero (2006)
Information and Data Collected through CCHI
1. Adolescent Survey on Sexual Activity
• 107 Valid Surveys Collected
• 30 Surveys – High Risk Youth
2. Parent Survey on Communication about Sex
• 92 Valid Surveys Collected
3. Adolescent Focus Groups on Sexual Activity
• 3 Focus Groups Conducted
• 43 Total Participants
• 2 Groups – High Risk Youth
2. The Latino Coalition for Prevention
• Latina Teen Pregnancy Report (2008)
3. The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH)
• Curriculum (Sex Education) Content Review (2007)
4. Parent Focus Groups on Adolescent Health
• 2 Focus Groups Conducted
• 16 Total Participants
• 1 Group – Parents of High Risk Youth
4. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
• With One Voice Poll – National Parents & Adolescents (2007)
• Parent-Adolescent Communication about Sex in Latino Families: A
Guide for Practitioners (2008)
5. Cicero Youth Task Force Survey on Adolescent Health
• 20 Valid Surveys Collected
5. The Cicero Youth Task Force (Health Committee)
• Youth Health Survey – Cicero Parents & Adolescents (2007)
6. Morton East High School Personnel Survey on Adolescent Health
• 57 Valid Surveys Collected
6. The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)
• Illinois Youth Survey Results – 6th Grade Cicero, IL (2006)
• 821 Valid Surveys (provided copies of report/results)
36
Appendix 3
7. Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) – Unity Jr. High 8th Grade
• 305 Valid Surveys Collected
David D. Robertson, Presenter – Teen Health Summity
8. Illinois Youth Survey (IYS) – Morton East High School
• 676 Valid 10th Grade Surveys Collected
• 827 Valid 11th Grade Surveys Collected
• 728 Valid 12th Grade Surveys Collected
“HIV is my adversity! What’s yours? Depression, poverty, jail, pride,
drugs?, a question that David D. Robertson asks that entices his audience
immediately. Moreover enables each individual to see HIV/AIDS not onl
as an infectious disease but a side effect for negative learned behaviors.
David D. Robertson was diagnosed with HIV in 2007. He begin traveling
across the country telling his story of hope and HIV in an effort to educate individuals both young and old about the correlation of HIV and depression in various communities. His most recent work, a series of coffee
table photography books “A Face of Hope: Standing in the face of their
adversity”, puts faces to the hopeless situations we hear about daily,
ranging from incarceration to rape. Yet, he encourages readers to see beyond these situations. As a program facilitator for The University of Illinois
at Chicago’s Urban Health Program Early Outreach, motivational/inspirational speaker, poet, photographer, and theatrical performer, David’s
main goal and aspiration is to share “hope” with the hopeless. He is the
author of “A Face of Hope: The Testimony of a Beloved Kneegrow Boy”
and currently resides in Chicago with his loving dog, Poesy.
9. Cicero Providers’ Summit on the Health Initiative Results – Cicero
Community Center
• 38 Participants
10. Cicero Teen Summit on Health Initiative Results – Cicero Community Center
• 83 Participants
37
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