The health status of adolescents is a key determinant for adult health, productivity, and longevity. Adolescence, the transition from childhood to early adulthood (between ages 10 and 19), represents a critical phase in human development. While adolescence may appear to be a relatively healthy period of life, health patterns, behaviors, and lifestyle choices have important health implications over time. Habits and behaviors frequently started during adolescence such as diet, exercise, sexual behavior, nicotine/alcohol and substance use can pose unfavorable health outcomes in the short-term and across the lifespan. Mental health disorders and related conditions often surface during adolescence and are best addressed early on before major challenges present.
The Adolescent Health and Wellness Program’s focus is to improve the percent of youth who are physically active, and to increase the number of adolescents with an annual preventive medical visit. Adolescent well-visits use evidence-based practices to decrease mortality, suicide attempts/ideation, nicotine use, untreated mental health conditions and obesity. The expected outcomes are to experience more of Nevada’s youth in good or excellent health, and to realize an increase in physical activity and immunization uptake. This program works with coalitions, non-profits and federal, state and local agencies on issues related to the enhancement of health amongst Nevada’s youth. Project activities involve assisting, supporting, and collaborating with organizations whom share similar interests and goals.
School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs)
This program is part of the Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness which supports communities in promoting the health and well-being of the school-age population through evidence-based best practices within a public health framework. SBHCs provide on-school site health care delivery by an interdisciplinary team of health professionals, which can include primary care and mental health clinicians. Research has demonstrated the SBHCs’ impacts on delivering preventive care, such as immunizations, and body mass index; managing chronic illnesses, (e.g., asthma, obesity, and mental health conditions); providing reproductive health services for adolescents; and improving youths’ academic performance.
SBHCs can select to be certified, however, clinics choosing not to participate in certification are free to operate in Nevada.The goals of certification are to: increase emphasis on best practices, reduce site-to-site variability, advance the ability to study clinical outcomes, and increase the potential for insurance reimbursement. Certified SBHCs are eligible to receive Medicaid reimbursements from the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy in a special category as a Provider Type 17, Specialty 179 for billing. [Go to the right side of this page and under Resources, click on Forms to access the SBHC Certification Application Forms].