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Thrive has been selected by the Office of Population Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of only 13 organizations in the country to receive a “Tier 2 Innovation and Impact Network Grant: Achieving Optimal Health and Preventing Teen Pregnancy in Key Priorities.” With grant funds of $1.38 million for the first year of a three-year project, Thrive will use the funding to spark innovation among Oklahoma County community organizations to create new programs and resources for parents and caregivers of adolescents.

The project’s goals are to establish, coordinate, fund, and support a highly collaborative network of partners (Network) to develop, refine, and test innovative interventions for parents and caregivers. Partner organizations in this collaborative endeavor include: Oklahoma City-County Health Department, Variety Care, Sunbeam Family Services, Lilyfield, and the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County.

Laura Lang, CEO of Thrive, is excited about this opportunity to continue impacting the lives of young people in Oklahoma County. “We know that caregivers play a significant role in influencing risk and protective factors that are pivotal in teens’ decision-making, which is why we have chosen this group as a priority area for this grant opportunity.”

Based on Thrive’s 2019 Community Engagement Assessment for Oklahoma County, community-based organizations, houses of worship, and parents all desire information and guidance on how to initiate positive conversations with teens that convey medically accurate, age-appropriate, and trauma-informed sexual health messages. This assessment is what led Thrive and its partners to apply for, and eventually secure, this funding source.

“Being selected as one of only 13 grantees in the country is a clear signal that what our collaboration is doing in Oklahoma County is working,” said Lang. “Ultimately, through the creation of a supportive network of well-trained, connected partner organizations, we will be able to empower and equip caregivers with the skills they need to increase protective factors, resulting in improved health and a reduction in STIs and pregnancy for teens.”

With a commitment to equity, the newly created Network, including an Advisory Committee of diverse community members with lived experience, will design a request for proposals (RFP) and encourage local organizations to apply to receive funding and join an Innovation Cohort that will ultimately deliver information and training to caregivers. The grant officially began on July 15, 2020 and will run for three years. For more information on the funding source or other grantees, visit www.hhs.gov/ash/oah/news/news-releases/opa-awards-19-million-innovation-teen-pregnancy-prevention-grants.html

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