Healthy Teens Los Angeles

submission by MHSJP
Healthy Teens Los Angeles

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

MetroHealth Station - Jefferson Park

Organization website:

Organization Twitter handle:

Organization Facebook page:

Organization Instagram:

Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization



Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


MHS looks like a fitness center but is a health & wellness primary care medical, dental, and emotional care facility for South LA residents.

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.


Our project will invite youth to take on leadership roles to engage their peers in an experience of health, wellness, community, and action

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)


Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


#HealthyTeensLA engages youth to be leaders in health, wellness, and action! Strengthening communities through the power of Youth

Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay



What is your idea/project in more detail?


Healthy Teens LA is a transformative approach to healthcare where the emphasis is on being well. Youth (Grades 6-12) will be recruited from local schools and youth groups to create a Wellness Council. MHS social workers, staff, and other health professionals will mentor our teen leaders. Wellness Council members will create and coordinate age-specific activity nights open to all local youth. Social programs are combined with fun to bring active learning on health-related, youth-selected topics. Activities could include nutrition, sexual health, mental stability, balancing academic and home life, and other relevant topics.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?


Step 1: Partner with local schools and youth groups
- Reach out to school administrators, councilors, and teachers, as well as youth group leaders from local churches and community centers.
- Utilize our existing network of leaders to establish support partnerships
- Establish a community of sponsors and collaborators
- Work with teachers and school administrators to give school credit for "Wellness Council" membership
Step 2: Invite youth to become part of Wellness Council
- Through references from our partners
- Visiting school sites
- Use of community outreach collaterals
- Social media
Step 3: Staff will assist youth to identify the needs of their peers and train them in project planning
- Weekly meetings of Wellness Council
- Establish a framework to guide council in implementing events
- Recruit guest leaders from local community
- Develop time management, communication, teamwork, and additional skills needed for project planning and success in life
Step 4: Youth will work with staff to plan and host free health/wellness/pro-social educational events
- Decide upon topics and plan relevant activities/speakers
- Create work groups to foster creative brainstorming and collaboration
- Delegation skills are learned and refined through the practice of giving each group specific roles in the event planning
Step 5: Staff will provide ongoing leadership training and mentorship to this growing youth community
- Provide a curriculum focused towards each individual's needs
- Staff serve as mentors and role models to the work groups
- Local and community contacts establish a support network
Step 6: Youth and staff will collaborate to evaluate and celebrate their accomplishments in learning to live, learn, create, and play in wellness-minded ways.

How will your idea/project help make LA the healthiest place to live today? In 2050?


Today, we know that activities that engage the body and mind have greater impact on what a person learns today but more importantly are retained throughout life. Our program empowers youth to embrace a life-long learning approach to health & wellness.Through education and discussion, this project will increase youth awareness that choices made today effect both present and later-life health and wellness.
Our focus will be based on MetroHealth Station's "whole-person" approach to health and wellness, which includes:
- Nutrition and how it affects cognition, physicality, and exercise
- Obesity prevention
- Physical health and wellness
- The importance of oral hygiene
- How nutrition affects teeth, tongue, and gums
- Diabetes prevention
- Sexual and reproductive health
- Nutrition, the immune system, and health
- Medical health and wellness
- Anger management
- Bullying/Violence
- Sexual respect and responsibility
- Self Esteem
- Healthy Body, Healthy Mind (connection between nutrition/physical health and mental health)
- Effective communication and listening
- Comfort with one's self and with others

We expect that our positive model of health and wellness will be associated with:
- Creation of a sense of community and camaraderie within local youth
- Reduction of gang participation by offering community and responsibility
- Reduction in crime
- Increase in school attendance
- Reduction of violence and bullying
- Reduction in teen pregnancy (increased awareness and practice of safe sexual practices, including abstinence as an option)

Over time, as students internalize the ideas and apply them to their own lives while helping others to adopt them as well, the effect will amplify. We see our project having long term goals of:
- Reduction in overall gang presence
- Reduction in drug use and overdose
- Increased school truancy/dropout prevention
- Instilling mindfulness of personal wellness, helping them to avoid joblessness, homelessness, addiction, and incarceration
- Students' passing of skills they have learned to the next generation

Successful implementation of this project will lead to its reproduction in other locations, spreading wellness and health across all of Los Angeles.

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.


Health & wellness affects everyone! Each life stage from infancy, through grade school and high school to young and older adulthood is associated with health benefits and health risks. The Healthy Teens LA program will focus on the health of youth 12-17 yrs but teens will learn health information that will affect them, their friends and family, and the community.

Specifically, we expect that our youth leaders will be health ambassadors for their own school. In addition, our youth leaders will be part of our community outreach activities used to recruit other youth from other schools.

All youth participants will be involved in mentoring programs where older youth supervise younger students in lower grades. Our past programs sponsored with LAUSD Foshay Learning Center has taught us that youth are the best health advocates....especially for other youth and their families.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


Confirmed partners include:

LAUSD Foshay Learning Center - We have cultivated relationships with the local schools in the Southern LA area, with the strongest connection being with LAUSD Foshay Learning Center. This school, home to 1st through 12th grades, has partnered with MetroHealth Station on many occasions, ranging from a 5k fun run, to a very successful health education activity night. Foshay Leaning Center is a confirmed collaborator that will contribute students, faculty insight, advertising and outreach support, and organizational support. They will also act as a key contact point when we are reaching out to other schools to join in the project. Other area schools have expressed interest and agreements are in discussion.

West Angeles CDC & the West Angeles Church of God in Christ - MHS is located on the northeast corner of W Jefferson Blvd and Crenshaw Blvd. The Church is not only our landlord but a supportive advocate for our work. West Angeles Plaza has been instrumental in our outreach efforts with the MetroHealth Station thus far, and will continue to collaborate with us on this project. The church of over 22,000 members, as well as multiple social outreach organizations and groups, has offered to publicize on our behalf, advertising in their church services, youth groups, and social outreach groups. The church is a hugely influential and well respected presence in South Los Angeles, and together we will be able to reach a very large and diverse population. Each day, more partners ask to join our efforts at building a healthier South LA.

MHS is a member of both the Crenshaw Chamber of Commerce and Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. Both chambers support our efforts and recognize the value that healthy youth become healthy workers. Our relationship with Foshay Learning Center was fostered though the Pillar "Principal for a Day" program. We expect continued support in workforce and youth development from our Chamber partners who we will involved in this project.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "LIVE" metrics?

Access to healthy food

Healthcare access

Exposure to air toxins

Number of households below the self-sufficiency standard

Percent of imported water

Obesity rates

Rates of homelessness

Walk/bike/transit score

Acres and miles of polluted waterways

Rates of mental illnesses

Prevalence of adverse childhood experience (Dream Metric)

Percentage of LA communities that are resilient (Dream Metric)

Percentage of residents receiving coordinated healthcare services (Dream Metric)

Percentage of tree canopy cover (Dream Metric)


Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

MHS is an innovative approach to healthcare where physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, dental hygienists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers and other mental health professionals are eager to work with our neighborhoods in improving the health & wellness of our community.

Access to healthcare - we provide access to medical, dental, physical , and mental health care in a welcoming, positive, friendly environment located within walking distance of Metro's Expo line. We expect our participating youth to experience:
1. lower BMI scores (reduced obesity)
2. higher walking rates (improved walk/bike/transit score)
3. strong coping skills (reduced rates of behavioral/mental health problems)
4. higher quality of life scores (decreased adverse childhood experiences reflected in improved QOL score)
5. increase access to health care needed if health issues arise (coordinated care by MHS staff)

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the best place to LEARN

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.


Success will be:
1. Healthy Teens LA youth enrollment rates increase from Oct 2014 compared to end of school year in June 2015.
2. Self-assessment health scores improve in youth participants from initial enrollment compared to end of Healthy Teens LA program.
3. Community satisfaction scores of Healthy Teens LA sponsored events are good to high.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?


LESSON 1: Youth will participate in mentoring activities related to health & wellness.
In December 2013, MetroHealth Station - Jefferson Park staff put on a health education activity night for the K-8th Foshay students where the Health Academy High School students 9-12th grades supervised the health stations. of the Foshay Learning Center. Different games and activities were planned for the two hour event, with each station having a tie-in to one of the four areas of primary care health: oral, medical, physical, and mental. This event was an overwhelming success, with around 200 students attending and staying for the entire 2 hours.
LESSON 2: Teens learn health behavior changes best from other youth.
Our engagement with Foshay for the health activity fair, Foshay 5K, science fair and other events at the school has reinforced that students who engaged with us in December are still working and available for our ongoing events today. The success we have experienced with Fabulous Foshay demonstrates to us the need for active health education in this area of Los Angeles.

Explain how implementing your project within the next twelve months is an achievable goal.


Our goal is achievable because MetroHealth Station is a new health facility that is open now for community activity. Our mission is to increase access to health services and to welcome our community to participate in community-related health activity. We are budgeted to support our social work team to develop youth engagement programs. The funds will allow us to kick-start this process.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?


Potential challenge: What if you build it and nobody comes?! We are a new kid on the block. It will take time to earn the trust of those around us who have a distinguished and long history in the South LA community.
We creating as many connections and collaborative relationships through our community outreach and ongoing youth engagement activities. We have reached out and established firm contacts with major school, community, and local government entities. It is only when we link together that we are able to provide a true safety net.

Potential challenge: What if you build it and too many come?! A second potential problem we see occurring is a recruitment of too many participants to be housed in MHS - Jefferson Park. This is another reason we have reached out to existing community groups and entities. In the case that we run out of room, we have "back-up" facilities with larger capacities.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

17 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Everyone deserves good health. However, everyone does not have equal access to healthcare. This is especially true of youth and young adults. This application brings youth together with health providers...a novel concept these days.

by kasulliv
over 1 year ago

This is a cutting edge patient-centered wellness approach. Lets inspire our teens to take charge.

by anna.olivier123
over 1 year ago

Our future lies in the creative mind of our teens! I want to see what they do with this program...get out the vote!!!

by kasulliv
over 1 year ago

If you could pick a topic to be discussed, what would it be?

over 1 year ago

Youth are the living message we send into a future we will not see. So important to have programs like this to empower youth with good health messages.

by ZK1
over 1 year ago

What a wonderful idea and program. It has been said that societies that don't see youth as resources that need to be tapped, have youth that become problems adults try to fix. This program actively engages youth in being resources to their peers, which with guidance and support, they truly are. And
G-d knows, they listen to each other much more than they do adults.

by ZK1
over 1 year ago

Youth are the living message we send into a future we will not see. So important to have programs like this to empower youth with good health messages.

by ZK1
over 1 year ago

80% of Americans agree that the US Healthcare System is broken- broken beyond repair.
They believe that the system is so broken it must be torn down and rebuilt- designed to heal and promote the development of health enhancing communities. MHS is an evidence-based "disruptive innovation"- a deliberate science informed redesign of healthcare delivery informed by decades of healthcare professional experience- all with academic appointments at various schools and divisions of the University of Southern California. It is important for individual members of the community ot make it very clear that everyone in our community deserves comprehensive, accessible, well-coordinated, family-centered care across the life-cycle provided by an interprofessional team with a personal relationship with every patient and their family over time.

by prestwic
over 1 year ago

Healthy Teens LA is exactly what today's youth needs. There is so much going on in this young culture today. With the help of technology, they live at a much faster pace than any other generation. Their brains are wired so differently, we are just barely beginning to understand. They need this program to help them adapt to these rapid changes - socially, emotionally and mentally. They need this program to teach them how to cope with their ever changing emotions and they need this program so that they can become tomorrow's leaders!

by laceci
over 1 year ago

Imagine the possibilities if we channeled the enthusiasm and creativity of youth into solutions that create a better world for all of us. Knowledge creates understanding. Understanding creates insight. This program focuses on exposing teens to accurate health information about their developing bodies and minds; then empowers them to pay it forward to other youth. Healthy Teens LA has my vote!

by kasulliv
over 1 year ago

As a young adult male, I don't really think about health issues until it is too late. With physical and dental health, I'm fairly proactive. I exercise, eat well, and brush my teeth regularly, but am often not extremely proactive with my medical health. What would that look like? If something like this were available during my high school years, I totally would have joined. Mental health is such a taboo subject that everyone deals with every day.

over 1 year ago

What do you need to be healthy and happy? This is something that we do not think about when it comes to taking care of youth and young adults. What do you want in your life to be healthy? What do you need to be healthy?

by kasulliv
over 1 year ago

It often isn't that we need to learn how to cope with changing emotions, we know how to do that. We are kinda forced into figuring that out for ourselves. But having a place where we can talk about it is really cool.

by Davidd4
over 1 year ago

This is crucial for our teens! Care for our "teens" begins in the pre-conception period when their parents are contemplating starting a family. It continues through the prenatal period, infancy and early childhood, on into the adolescent years (now defined at the MHS at ages 11-17). At the MHS we have designed care processes for all of these stages, and for ages 18-24- our "young adults" as well.

by prestwic
over 1 year ago

We absolutely agree, @ZK1! We need to give our youth everything they need to ensure a healthy, confident, focused, and supported life. We will someday be depending on them to care for us! Through this program, we are focusing on four main areas of health and wellness (Oral, Physical, Medical, and Emotional) to help create the tallest foundational platform so that the youth can reach higher and stand taller

over 1 year ago

That's right, @prestwic. Our health model is designed for treating people where and when they need it. It treats people using Lifecourse Care, addressing them across their entire lifespan, and treating every aspect of health and wellness.

Our Healthy Teens Los Angeles program introduces an additional resource for youth in conversations regarding health and wellness: their peers! Our youth organized and led events will cover that topics covered are relevant to daily life because they were chosen by the student's classmates and friends. Beyond this, if there are any personal or specific questions that students have, the entire MHSJP staff will be available for consultation and treatment!

over 1 year ago

We hear you, @davidd4, and we want to give you a space where you can Move, Live, Care, and Smile with your family and friends. And how cool will it be when you get to choose the topics you want to be discussed?!

over 1 year ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014