HELENA-WEST HELENA — A new grant will allow the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) to bring the teen pregnancy prevention program “Making Proud Choices” to 1,000 Phillips County high school students each year.
The $64,000 grant from the Walton Family Foundation will fund the position of external outreach coordinator, who will administer the program at the UAMS East Regional Campus in Helena. The grant also provides for materials, supplies and software.
“We are excited for the opportunity to expand our efforts to teach our youth better coping and refusal skills and how to make better choices in regard to risky behavior,” said Becky Hall, Ed.D., UAMS East Regional Campus director. “We appreciate the Walton Family for all they have done for the people of Phillips County and look forward to working with them to improve the health of the county.”
Making Proud Choices, an evidence-based program, aims to provide adolescents with the knowledge, confidence and skills necessary to reduce their risk of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and pregnancy by abstaining from sex or using condoms if they choose to have sex. The curriculum consists of eight modules delivered by trained facilitators.
The curriculum involves culturally sensitive video clips, games, brainstorming, role-playing, skill-building activities and small group discussions that build group cohesion and enhance learning. Each activity lasts only a brief time and involves adolescents getting out of their seats and interacting with each other to help maintain interest and attention that might fade during a lecture or lengthy group discussion.
For three decades, the Walton Family Foundation has continued the philanthropic vision begun by Sam and Helen Walton. The foundation focuses on efforts to improve K-12 education, to protect rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and to give back to the region that first gave Sam and Helen Walton an opportunity. In 2016, the Walton Family Foundation awarded grants totaling more than $454 million. Learn more at waltonfamilyfoundation.org.
UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.