NNSAHC History

NNSAHC History

Providing community and support for SAHCs for over 30 years

For over three decades, NNSAHC has served as the main source of community support for adolescent health professionals in state MCH programs, and as a bridge to the technical assistance provided by our national partners.

1970s - 1980s

A short history of State Adolescent Health Coordinators in MCH programs.

The first SAHCs emerged in state public health agencies in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1988, nearly twenty state Title V/MCH programs had created or designated existing staff as the state adolescent health coordinator.

SAHCs have been a force to be reckoned with ever since. The first-ever published analysis of adolescent populations served by Title V/MCH Programs was released in 1989 with input from SAHCs in 33 states on their respective roles in serving adolescents. The report’s findings strengthened the case for prioritizing adolescent health in MCH programs.  Learn more about the history of SAHCs.

1990s - Now

NNSAHC has been a national influencer since the 1990s.

The State Adolescent Health Coordinators Network (later rebranded as the National Network of State Adolescent Health Coordinators or NNSAHC), has provided community and support for SAHCs in state MCH programs for over 30 years. Since 1990, our elected leadership structure has evolved continuously to provide guidance, consulting, and programming for our statewide peers.

We consider you an NNSAHC member if you are a designated SAHC or if you have primary responsibility for adolescent health programming in other state Department of Health programs. Our learning and networking community includes one or more individuals from every state and territorial public health agency.

We continue to shape national conversations about adolescent health.

Individual SAHCs and NNSAHC as a professional network have raised the profile of adolescent health at the state, territorial, and national levels. SAHCs’ contributions to landmark reports and initiatives continue to shape the field and elevate Positive Youth Development as a state health programming framework. 

Some of SAHCs’ recent contributions take the form of advisory roles for key national initiatives:

  • Building Bridges for Child Health (2000), a working conference at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, explored avenues for strengthening science-based practice and policy for child health through strategic integration and coordination of national efforts.
  • The Partnership for Adolescent Health (2000-2005) was a project with AMCHP and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to grow the leadership structure of NNSAHC and promote an adolescent health focus within Title V/MCH programs. The partnership produced two foundational resources: the Conceptual Framework for Adolescent Health and the System Capacity for Adolescent Health: Public Health Improvement Tool.
  • The National Initiative to Improve Adolescent Health (2001) was a federal initiative that guided the inclusion of priority adolescent health outcomes in the Healthy People 2010 framework.
  • In the spirit of “what gets measured gets done,” SAHCs contributed to the development of an adolescent related Title V/Maternal and Child Health National Performance Measure (NPM) in 2014, resulting in NPM #10 on adolescent well visits (percent of adolescents, ages 12-17, with a preventive services visit in the past year).

We can help you position yourself as a state influencer.

Our network helps you do your work. A national community of your statewide peers, we amplify your efforts to grow a state-level adolescent health infrastructure. We can help you partner with youth, and connect to national best practices and resources. We support you as a force for good in your role as an expert and leader in adolescent health.