Seeding and Implementing Systems Change Efforts to Improve the Lives of Youth: Hilton Foundation's Youth Strategic Initiative
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Youth Substance Use Prevention and Early Intervention Strategic Initiative has funded prevention and early intervention-related activities and SBIRT services to youth and young adults in more than 350 health, school, and community-based organizations through 28 local, state, and national partners. By seeding communities and organizations across the country, the Foundation is training traditional and nontraditional providers serving youth, expanding access to and implementation of prevention and early intervention services, and conducting research to evaluate and promote the SBIRT evidence base. These objectives aim to improve youth and young adult health and wellbeing outcomes. The diverse settings uncover a broad range of SBIRT planning and implementation successes and challenges. The Foundation’s grantees report key influences in successful implementation that cross setting: engaging the right people, including an innovation early adopter or champion; modifying electronic health record systems and/or incorporating SBIRT into the medical, school, or community “record”; and ensuring confidentiality/privacy of youth. However, in any setting, integrating an innovation is difficult, time-consuming, and requires accounting for the intricacies of the environment, while maintaining fidelity to the model. This is even more difficult with varying models of SBIRT implementation, diverse settings to which it is being implemented, and the black box of “brief intervention.” These successes and challenges provide an early opportunity to discuss “lessons learned” and implications for the broader stakeholder community interested in utilizing SBIRT with youth.
Cori Sheedy, PhD, a Senior Associate at Abt Associates, has more than 15 years of experience managing, directing, and conducting research, evaluation, training and technical assistance, and communication projects, particularly in the behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery fields. She is currently directing a 3-year project evaluating the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s substance use prevention and early intervention strategic initiative focused on SBIRT programs for youth and young adults. For SAMHSA, she served as Project Director for SAMHSA’s Recovery Month project for 9 years, where she directed, managed, and oversaw all aspects of this multifaceted project, co-wrote a paper on Medicaid coverage of SBIRT, including discussing results of a national survey and case studies, serves as a coach in SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Leadership Development Program, and substantially contributed to the development of multiple products focused on prevention, treatment, and recovery (i.e., a text message library for recovery support, a situational analysis of recovery supports, background papers on youth leadership development and recovery schools and collegiate recovery programs, a youth leadership development toolkit, and briefs on the peer workforce in several HHS regions). Dr. Sheedy volunteers in her local New Hampshire community serving on Hope for New Hampshire Recovery’s Board of Directors; Governor’s Task Force on Recovery; Nashua Prevention Coalition, a SAMHSA-designated drug-free community; and Nashua’s Beyond Influence Leadership Team, which works to prevent and reduce substance misuse among youth. She holds a Ph.D. in social policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.