The desired outcome for receiving this grant funding is to close health disparities that persist among youth in Minneapolis who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) through supporting sexual health education activities in the Minneapolis School Based Clinics that are designed to reduce rates of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
Alison Moore, Barbara Kyle
Section 2: Data
The activities will take place among students who attend the following high schools – Thomas Edison High School, Washburn High School, Southwest High School and Longfellow Alternative High School, which specifically serves pregnant and parenting teens. These schools are racially and ethnically diverse and representative of the Minneapolis Public Schools as a whole. The demographics of the Minneapolis Public Schools as a whole are as follows, according to 2020 data: 35% White, 35% Black or African American, 17% Hispanic or Latino American, 5% Asian American, 3.8% Two or more races, and 3% American Indian or Alaska Native. The students who attend these high schools live in various neighborhoods throughout Minneapolis, including areas beyond the immediate neighborhoods where the schools are located.
The data demonstrates significant disparities in health outcomes in rates of sexually transmitted infections among BIPOC communities when compared to white communities. The 2018 chlamydia rate for Black young adults ages 18-24 was 7.7 times higher (9,432 per 100,000), the American Indian rate was 5.5 times higher (6,670 per 100,000) and the Hispanic/Latino rate was 1.8 times higher (2,266 per 100,000) than the white rate (1,221 per 100,000). Similarly the gonorrhea rate for Black young adults ages 18-24 was 15.3 times higher (4,687 per 100,000), the American Indian rate was 17.8 times higher (5,438 per 100,000), and the Hispanic/Latino rate was 1.8 times higher (556 per 100,000) than for white young adults (305 per 100,000).
There are also disparities in teen births among BIPOC communities in Minneapolis. The five-year birth rate (2012-2016) among teens ages 15-19 in Minneapolis was 23 per 1,000, higher than the statewide teen birth rate of 13.7 per 1,000. The disparities in Minneapolis are more pronounced when BIPOC communities are compared with white communities in Minneapolis. The teen birth rate for American Indian teens was 40 per 1,000, for Asian teens was 20 per 1,000, African American/Black teens was 41 per 1,000, Hispanic/Latino teens was 49 per 1,000 compared with white teens at 4 per 1,000. We see similar disparities in teen pregnancies among our BIPOC communities as well.
We need to continue to get updated and current STI and teen pregnancy and birth data specific to Minneapolis. We need to work within the reporting systems at the Minnesota Health Department and in collaboration with our Minneapolis Health Department – Division of Epidemiology to continue to monitor trends and see how those rates are changing over time.
Section 3: Community Engagement
We continually ask for feedback on the work we are doing by directly connecting with teens in our schools. We regularly collect anonymous surveys from program participants to get input from them on what aspects of our programs are working and what could be improved. We also survey clinic patients overall on a semi-annual basis to ensure our services are meeting their needs and being delivered in a culturally affirming, supportive manner. We have a Teen Health Empowerment Council for the School Based Clinics, which is composed of student representatives from all of our main high school locations. They meet on an ongoing basis throughout the school year and provide feedback, solicit ideas from peers and bring back suggestions on health topics of greatest importance to them and their communitiies.
Section 4: Analysis
The primary outcomes of this programming are to reduce sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy disparities in Minneapolis, with a focus on reaching our BIPOC communities who are disproportionately impacted. We want to ensure that the resources provided through this programming are as accessible as possible, so we will continue to provide them in the school setting, virtually and in-person (when possible), at no cost ever, and as flexibly as possible to be able to meet young people wherever they are at. The School Based Clinics welcome all students, regardless of insurance status, documentation status, or other barriers that may otherwise prevent young people from seeking health care, including health education. This will support the City in achieving racial equity, by assuring that sexual health is a right for all young people, with a particular priority on reaching our BIPOC communities.
Section 5: Evaluation
Impacts will be measured in several ways. We will be collecting program surveys at the start and end of the program from each participant to compare if gains in skills, knowledge and practices have happened as a result of participating in the Safer Sex Intervention. We will look self reported measures including likelihood to use barrier methods, such as internal and external condoms and dental dams, as well as likelihood to use contraception as a result of participating in the program. Success indicators would show a positive change in comfort and ability to practice safer sex.
We will share our outcomes with members of our Teen Health Empowerment Council, and get their input and insights on what has been working from these efforts, as well as what can be changed or improved. We will also share information via social media periodically, which is another way to reach teens and young adults more broadly in Minneapolis and beyond.