2018 Summit Program
2018 Southern California Sexual Health Summit Presentation Descriptions
9:30 am - 10:30 am Breakout Sessions
Sex Ed and Reproductive Health for CA Youth
Ruth Dawson, Adrian Martinez - ACLU Southern California
California boasts some of the most progressive youth rights to access sexual and reproductive health care. Youth access to high-quality, confidential sexual and reproductive health care services reduces the risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and improves overall health and educational outcomes. This session will review the legal protections California offers and best practices for youth and young adults to access these services, including the right to receive comprehensive, inclusive, and medically-accurate sex education in public schools, the ability for minors to consent to and access sensitive services confidentially, obtaining confidential services under a parent’s health insurance plan, and seeking services during school hours. Participants will also learn about newly enacted reproductive health policies that expand access to care for students with Medi-Cal or commercial health coverage, and existing tools and resources to share with young people in Southern California.
Justice for Young Families: Shifting the Narrative Around Youth Sexuality and Adolescent Parenting
Lorena Garcia-Zermeno & Amelia Torres - California Lastinas for Reproductive Justice
From the high visibility of national teen pregnancy prevention campaigns to popular reality shows, we are constantly bombarded with harmful stereotypical images of what it means to be a young parent. Society's punitive framework that blames and stigmatizes young parents fails to recognize the complex socioeconomic realities and systemic barriers Latina/o/x youth experience. We will discuss how we are working in collaboration with local and national partner organizations and young parent leaders in Los Angeles and the Central Valley to shift the narrative around pregnant and parenting youth through our long-term initiative, Justice for Young Families (J4YF). By providing communications and policy trainings to our Young Parent Leaders Council (YPLC), young parents are unapologetically carving their own space, becoming their own spokespeople and uplifting their voices and experiences. By creating their own original content for social media campaigns and testifying in Sacramento for legislative hearings, Young Parent Leaders are at the forefront of policy changes that directly impact the health and well-being of young parents across California.
Keeping It Real Together: A Holistic Intervention to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and STDs in Los Angeles County
Kristin Meyer, Luanne Rohrbach, Jeff Gould, Laura Vargas, Veronica Camacho - Keeping it Real Together Collaborative
Keeping It Real Together is a multi-agency collaborative that is working to improve sexual health for Los Angeles County youth. The program uses school-based sexual health education, improved access to services and community mobilization to support youth and the adults who care for them. Our goal is to change the landscape of sexual health in Los Angeles County, replacing negative outcomes with a culture of empowerment for more informed, confident and healthy youth.
Transgender Sexual Health Disparities: How Do We Fix the System?
Dannie Cesena, Tony Viramontes - LGBT Center Orange County
This presentation will discuss the sexual health of LGBTQ individuals and the disparities that they face. Health care disparities include, but not limited to: sex work (survival crimes), the impact of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) on sexual health, the importance of annual physical exams and why queer persons aren't obtaining them, why are STDs on the rise in LGBTQ communities, and holistic health. This presentation will include a brief touch on terminology, how to educate providers, updating intake forms and training medical staff, what insurances need to be made aware of, and creating a safe space for patients to speak openly with their health care providers.
10:40 am - 11:40 am Breakout Sessions
Changing the Narrative: Strategies to Engage Non-Traditional Partners and Diverse Audiences in Community-Based STD Conversations
Kiana Dobson, Jim Rhyne, Valerie Coachman-Moore - WeCanSTopSTDsLA
WeCanStopSTDsLA is a movement of the LA County District 2 Community Advisory Coalition, working to engage the public around the high levels of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the community. STDs are associated with stigma that inhibits important conversations. WeCanStopSTDsLA created an activation campaign, called “Let’s Talk About It” and set out to recruit non-traditional partners to support the movement and what it stands for: prevention, treatment, compassion, open communication, and justice. The activation campaign was a framework for a set of novel community engagement activities set around the release of the latest edition of the movement’s signature outreach tool, the Pocket Guide to Sexual Services and Clinics in South LA. To accomplish this, WeCanStopSTDsLA first leveraged the power of its network of partners. Second, a Pocket Guide wellness center located on the campus of an LAUSD high school was selected as a pilot location. Third, local businesses were approached to be community supporters and encouraged to be free condom distributors. Next, high school students were engaged to encourage peer-to-peer communication. Finally, a press conference featuring student voices as well as other key community members and partners was held to engage the press for help in spreading the word.
Past and Present: A Historical Analysis of Abortion Legislations
Alicia Gutierrez-Romine - La Sierra University
This presentation will discuss and compare abortion legislation from the 1960s with current attempts to rewrite abortion law and restrict abortion access. Current conservative efforts to restrict abortion access bear a striking resemblance to 1960s legislation to ease, or relax, abortion restriction. How is this possible? Before the Roe v. Wade decision, allowing legal abortions in cases of rape, incest, or if the woman was a minor appealed to legislators across party lines as reasonable circumstances under which they could understand a woman getting an operation. And, ultimately, these relaxations in abortion law helped to pave the way for abortions on demand. Now, however, recent proposals have attempted to chip away at legal abortion protections by introducing legislation that would only allow abortions under similar circumstances. This presentation will focus on current national trends, and will compare those with California legislation from the 1960s. Ultimately, this presentation hopes to facilitate a discussion and to illustrate that there have been historical instances of bilateral agreement on abortion. Nevertheless, these proposals ultimately failed. It is important to understand what was appealing, what didn’t work, and why we’re having these same discussions again.
Practical Strategies for Promoting Sexual and Reproductive Health Among LGBT Youth
Crystal Cedillo - Essential Access Health
In recognition of the unique sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of LGBT youth, this session is designed to increase program staff and case managers’ knowledge of health disparities impacting LGBT youth in foster care, particularly regarding STDs/HIV and unplanned pregnancy, and provide information and tools in order to better meet the needs of the youth they serve. Discussion topics will include recommended SRH health services and screenings for LGBT youth, key sexual risk reduction messages, and resources from Essential Access Health and related organizations. Group activities will emphasize skills development, particularly through the use of motivational interviewing techniques for sexual risk reduction.
Essential Access Health is a leading champion for quality SRH care for all. In Los Angeles, Essential Access works in close partnership with the Los Angeles County Public Health’s Division of HIV and STD Programs and providers to implement best practices in STD prevention and case management. Through innovative program design and project management, Essential Access provides support to a variety of stakeholders and community partners sharing a common goal of reducing the spread of STDs throughout California.
The Party: A Guide to Hosting a Successful Parent Preview Night
Jessica Guccione , Lori Fallace - Irvine Unified School District
Parents and schools can work together to improve the sexual health of students. Many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of talking with parents about our sex education plans. This presentation will review the requirements for parental notification for sexual health education under the California Healthy Youth Act. We will share experience hosting Parent Preview Nights in Orange County and best practices for making this evening successful. Participants will learn what content to include in a Parent Preview Night, the best time of year to host such an event, how to market the event to parents, and tips for increasing parent-child communication, including parental values and expectations. With 37.8 births per 1000 teens in California and with skyrocketing STD rates, there is clearly a need for more education at home and at school. We will share sample presentations we have used at previous Parent Preview Nights that teachers can take back to their sites and edit for their use. We will share some of the difficult questions parents have asked in the past and how to answer them. We will also review how to handle leaving materials on view for parents who cannot attend the evening. Participants in this session will walk away knowing what they need to do to start planning a Parent Preview Night at their school. Challenges and success in implementing our own school-based health program will also be discussed.
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
Mariotta Gary-Smith: Social Justice & Sexual Health: Where I Stand
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm Breakout Sessions
Utilizing Art to Empower Youth: The High School Sex Squad
Susana Hernandez, Kelly Gluckman, Maya Ram - UCLA Arts & Global Health Center
This workshop will serve as an introduction to the Sex Squad methodology and the implementation of the High School Sex Squad program in Los Angeles Unified School District. The workshop leaders, High School Sex Squad mentors who are students at the University of California, Los Angeles, will take participants through their experience working with high school students on arts-based sexual health advocacy programs after-school. The workshop will also discuss the potential benefits of using the arts in comprehensive sexual health education, particularly in supplementing the mandated curriculum of the CA Healthy Youth Act, and how the arts can be an effective tool in opening up dialogue around taboo or otherwise difficult to discuss topics in sexual health. The workshop leaders will discuss their own positionality as near-peer educators of high school students and how youth-led programs can lead to empowering teenagers as sexual health advocates. The workshop will also run through the “How to Start Your Own Sex Squad” manual, a comprehensive guide to implementing the Sex Squad methodology on high school campuses. Workshop participants will be given the chance to experience one of the arts-based activities described in the manual. Providing participants with this manual will open up chances for future collaboration between the Art & Global Health Center and health educators across Southern California. This will also provide resources for health educators and community youth providers who are interested in bringing arts-based programming into their practice.
Community Pushback to Sexual health Education Programs as Opportunities for Growth
Abi Karlin-Resnick - Health Connected
The California Healthy Youth Act has spurred great support since its passage in fall 2015, but as California's school districts work to comply with the law, they have also run into opposition. Simply put, implementation of comprehensive, medically-accurate, and bias-free sex ed has been complicated by parent and community resistance, even in areas of California that are historically proud of their tolerance and diversity, such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles--to name a few. Health Connected has experienced this first-hand, specifically as their comprehensive sex ed (CSE) and puberty programs have expanded into regions that have not traditionally implemented CSE in the past.
During this presentation, Health Connected's Executive Director, Abi Karlin-Resnick, will explore the arguments and organizational strategies developed by CSE opponents, suggesting the peculiar roles that copyright laws, online communication, and conservative legal groups have played in this process. Ms. Karlin-Resnick will also discuss ways in which community pushback can ultimately be positive—encouraging communities to flesh out their values around sexual health education for youth, enhancing districts’ internal/external communication systems, building stronger advocacy in favor of CSE, and sparking conversations that lead to the selection of programs that meet a community’s unique needs. Participants will walk away with an understanding of how community controversy can spark valuable conversation that can strengthen community ties, enhance district’s systems, give youth a voice in their own education, and bolster programs over the long term. This session is designed to inspire attendees to remain open to a variety of voices and opinions during the often lengthy process of CHYA-compliant curricula adoption and implementation processes, as controversy and opposition has the potential to ultimately generate positive outcomes for youth
They2ze: A Digital Transgender Spectrum Youth Mobile Health Resource for Services All the Way From "They" to "Ze"
Christian Bannister , Cara Sila - YTH (Youth + Tech + Health)
They2ze is a mobile application (app) intended to reduce health disparities among transgender spectrum identifying youth (TSY) and their providers by increasing the availability, access, and utilization of critical HIV and health resources. Developed by the Oakland-based non-profit YTH (youth+tech+health), they2ze focuses on: (1) connecting TSY users to local trans-inclusive health and life resources in an easy and confidential mobile space; (2) aggregating community input in the form of peer reviews and comments to ascertain level of TSY competency among resources and providers, and; (3) offering providers a resource that includes easy referral access and continuing education opportunities to enhance TSY competency.
Originally funded as a pilot for the San Francisco Bay Area region with resources (from health to peer support) located within the nine-county region, additional funding has been secured to scale they2ze throughout the remaining counties in California; including Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange County, and San Diego. Current expansion includes the additional integration of a digital PrEP access and navigation adherence tool.
This presentation will cover an overview of TSY health access and development, with an emphasis on YTH’s youth-centered health design approach in collaboration with our they2ze community advisory board (CAB). Both TSY and health provider user data will be included to review patterns of use, app satisfaction, number of resources, continuing education links accessed, and the utilization of the app’s regional expansion. Mobile interventions like they2ze will be presented as a feasible and acceptable tool to assist TSY in accessing sexual health and life services.
Intersections: Human Trafficking, Public Health, and Sexual Health?
Susie Baldwin, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
This session will provide an overview of human trafficking in the United States and its sexual health effects, and how we understand trafficking through a public health lens. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and discuss approaches to building trauma-informed, patient-centered responses to trafficking.
3:10 pm - 4:10 pm Breakout Sessions
Miss South Bay Pride: How Drag Shows Can Support Your HIV Prevention Program
Linda Salgin - San Ysidro Health
San Ysidro Health Center’s (SYHC) Research and Health Promotion department, in collaboration with SYHC’s HIV department, have a long standing history providing HIV prevention and sexual health services in San Diego’s Border Regions. Data has shown that HIV among Latinos and African Americans living in the Border Region are affected at disproportionately higher rates. Similar to the national statistics, adolescents who identify as gay/bisexual or men who have sex with men (MSM) account for the majority of new HIV cases; 81% in 2014. As such, it is imperative that HIV prevention programs not only develop culturally tailored and competent HIV prevention services, but also services that empower and engage youth.
SYHC’s Comprehensive High Impact Prevention (CHIP) program focuses on HIV prevention services specific to the needs of 16-29 year old gay, bisexual MSM of color living in the San Diego Border Region. A subprogram of CHIP is Mpowerment – an intervention aimed at supporting young gay men to build positive social bonds and promote safe sexual practices. On September 1st, 2017, the Mpowerment members worked with the CHIP staff to host the inaugural Miss South Bay Pride Drag Contest. These efforts gave Mpowerment members ownership over their work and provided an innovative and fun approach to HIV prevention. Being the first Drag Contest in South Bay in over 5 years, this event set the stage for progressive HIV prevention in the Border Region and resulted in increased targeted recruitment for HIV testing, increased support from community organizations, and a step forward in reducing HIV stigma.
LA Reproductive Health Equality Project for Foster Youth: Dismantaling Systematic Barriers to Reproductive Health for Youth in Care
Valerie Esquive , Barbara Facher - National Center for Youth Law, Alliance for Children's Rights
Teen pregnancy rates are at historic lows in the United States - but not for all youth. While the overall rate is down, young women in the foster care system are far more likely to experience teen and unintended pregnancy and childbirth. Although California has an important network of laws in place to ensure access to contraception and reproductive health services, foster youth often face critical barriers to making their reproductive rights a reality.
Launched in March 2017, the Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP) is a partnership of cross-sector stakeholders working to dismantle systemic barriers in an effort to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care services for youth in care and decrease rates of unintended pregnancy. Utilizing a collective impact strategy to coordinate efforts, the National Center for Youth Law provides strategic guidance as the backbone agency. Other members of the LA RHEP Leadership Team include: LA County Department of Children & Family Services, Alliance for Children's Rights, Children's Law Center of California, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Public Counsel, and Seattle Children's Hospital. The project also convenes a Youth Advisory Board to guide the work.
This presentation will provide participants with an overview of the unique barriers that young people in foster care face related to accessing reproductive health services and how LA RHEP is addressing this through a collective impact model. Additionally, the presentation will provide information about current local and state policy impacting reproductive health services for foster youth.
Partnering With Youth to Meet the Challenges of California Healthy Youth Act
Eva Fernandez, Melissa Strype, Jackie Lara, Karina Gonzalez, Jennifer Torres, Sara Garcia, Charlye Sweeney - Planned Parenthood LA
In January 2016, our state passed the California Healthy Youth Act, which requires comprehensive sexual health and HIV prevention education in middle school and high school, curriculum updates based on new medical research, and that sexual education respect, affirm, and address the needs for students of all gender identities and sexual orientations. It is considered the most robust sexual education law in the country. With dwindling resource from the state, implementation in the classroom can be challenging.
In close partnership with the youth we serve, PPLA has modified and updated our school-based curriculum and created original educational videos for use in the classroom. Our current and former Peer Advocates have been integral to the fil project at every step, from initial script-writing to acting on camera, and the end result is a 4-video series that addresses gender expectations, rights in relationships, STD testing, and decision-making.
Please join PPLA as out educators share our new curriculum and lessons learned from classroom implementation, and our guest Peer Advocates speak about their experiences collaborating with PPLA to make relevant content. As our work meeting the challenges for CHYA continues, we hope to develop a scalable model to assist schools and districts with implementation throughout Los Angeles County and beyond.