April 20, 2022 / Destiny Johnson
Baltimore (August 31, 2021) – Baltimore Medical System, the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system in Maryland, is proud to announce that its school-based health center at Patterson High School has successfully completed the Adolescent-Centered Environment Assessment Process (ACE-AP) and earned certification as a gold adolescent-centered health center. The opportunity to participate in this certification process was given by the Baltimore City Health Department’s Adolescent and Reproductive Health Services.
The ACE-AP, developed and facilitated by the Adolescent Health Initiative out of the University of Michigan Medicine, is a comprehensive self-assessment and guided improvement process designed to minimize barriers and improve the delivery of care to adolescents. The ACE-AP is comprehensive, spanning 12 key areas of adolescent-centered care, including adolescent best practices and standards of care, confidentiality, behavioral health practices, adolescent involvement and empowerment, and cultural responsiveness.
“One of the greatest assets of our school-based health program is the personal relationships and trust our providers build with our patients, as we see them every day and really get to know them,” says Arlene Tyler, M.D., School-Based Health Center Medical Director, Baltimore Medical System. “This trust is especially crucial when working with teens, so we can best help them with the serious and sensitive issues they face at this age. Earning our gold ACE-AP certification at Patterson High School is a proud indication that we are meeting the industry’s highest standards of care for adolescents in Baltimore City, delivered conveniently inside the walls of their school.”
During adolescence, youth experience disproportionately high rates of mental health issues, substance use, sexually transmitted diseases, and unintentional injuries that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Consequently, the health care needs of adolescents are unique from other patient populations. Young people may avoid accessing the services they need for various reasons including concerns around confidentiality, fear of judgment, and inconvenient hours and location.
Adolescent-centered environments effectively provide comprehensive services for adolescents, ensuring that they feel well cared for. An adolescent-centered environment is inclusive of, informed by, and responsive to the needs and values of adolescents.
Exceeding within all areas included in the ACE-AP, Baltimore Medical System is committed to the provision of excellent, high-quality adolescent-centered care. We look forward to serving you, our valuable community members, for years to come.
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