May 28, 2014

(Petersburg, Va.) May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and according to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the United States has seen extraordinary declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing over the past two decades. The Petersburg Health Department, part of the Crater Health District, recently celebrated the city’s lowest teen pregnancy rate in four years. The health department saw a decrease in the number of teen pregnancies within the City of Petersburg from 103.7/1000 in 2009 to 66.7/1000 in 2012, which represents a 36% decline.

“The health district is encouraged by the decrease in teen pregnancy the last several years”, said Alton Hart, Jr. MD, MPH, Crater Health District director. “However, it takes the entire community working together to provide guidance, education and services to reduce teen pregnancies throughout the Crater Health District.”

The Crater Health District’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program provides education and clinical services at no cost to participants. The mission of the program is to foster healthy lifestyles among youth populations by providing clinical services, health education, and community outreach to reduce disease transmission and prevent teen pregnancy.

Educational services provide accurate, age appropriate sexual reproductive health information. The Crater Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program is funded by the Cameron Foundation, John Randolph Foundation, United Way, and Virginia Department Health.

The local health departments in the Crater Health District also recognize the community members who work in partnership with the teen pregnancy prevention program: Area schools, agencies, businesses, faith-based and non-profit organizations are working together to improve outcomes on the social and health issues associated with teen and unintended pregnancy in their communities.