December 7, 2017
Two hands reach out to another another in front of a polka dotted background.

In December 2017, the Innovation Next judges panel selected five teams for the second cohort of innovators. Below are descriptions of the teams, including the “How might we…?” questions that guided their work:

Project Name: Miss Morning After

A photo of the original team of Miss Morning After.

The Original Team: Lyndsey Benson (University of Washington, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology), Kyle Witt (University of Washington, Human Centered Design and Engineering), and Lily Alexander (University of Washington, Department of Global Health)

The Current Team: Jenny Arnold (Washington State Pharmacy Association) and Brandy Seignemartin (Washington State Pharmacy Association)

How Might We better increase accessibility to emergency contraception for low-income teens in urban areas?

Description: Miss Morning After is a Seattle-based initiative seeking to transform pharmacies into spaces where teens feel comfortable accessing emergency contraception without fear of shame, judgment, or rejection. They have developed a youth-friendly pharmacy toolkit with shelf talkers, informational brochures, stickers, staff training materials, and staff breakroom posters. The goal of the toolkit is to equip pharmacies with the materials to make their store environments more navigable for young people so that they are able to access the morning-after pill with more ease and support. The team is also working to develop aisle blades and product stand-in cards to make the family planning aisles more informative and friendly for young people. After piloting the toolkit in Seattle, WA at a local drugstore chain, Bartell Drugs, the initiative is expanding to Kroger grocery chains in Washington, and a selection of Safeway-Albertson locations. They plan to measure changes in sales data as a means to demonstrate the value of this project to front end managers.

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Project Name: Dine Youth Network

A photo of the original team of Dine Youth Network.

The Original Team: Rachel Nawrocki (Capacity Builders, Inc), Tina Gray (Capacity Builders, Inc.), and Eudora Redhouse (Capacity Builders, Inc.)

The Current Team: Tina Gray (Capacity Builders, Inc.) and Eudora Redhouse (Capacity Builders, Inc.)

How Might We bring medically-accurate, culturally-appropriate, cost-effective, and realistically sustainable adolescent sexual health information to the rural and underserved youth of the Navajo Nation?

Description: This team started out by imagining innovative ways to reach Navajo Youth that would meet their health needs as well as their cultural needs. Over time, with lots of hard work and iterations of their ideas, the team developed the Dine' Youth Network website in partnership with their graphic design partners at 4 Directions Media. Dine' is a Navajo word which means “the people." Their website is reflective of this designed with vivid colors, filled with information and connections for users, and culturally appropriate for their youthful audience. They captured the attention of their audience through social media outlets and advertising on the ground through outreach events, such as the Navajo Nation Fairs. They now have youth following their page and will continue to update the website with new interactive games, exciting videos about Navajo culture, and current medical information. 
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Project Name: Young United Parents! (YUP!) 

A photo of the original team of Young Parents United.

Team: Joann Schladale (Resources for Resolving Violence, Inc.), Jenna Gaarde (San Francisco Department of Public Health), and Aaron Plant (Sentient Research)

How Might We use technology to create a holistic health and wellness program to support and empower teen parents?

Description: This innovative team started with a desire to help young parents lead healthy, happy lives and to be the best parents they can be. Through engagement with over 160 young mothers and fathers age 16-22, the team found that young parents wanted and needed a much more holistic community and resource for healthy parenthood. Alongside an active team of young parents, the YUP! team is building out a robust platform that includes video-based information, resources, and a community of young parents to support and empower one another. They will launch first as a mobile website, then as an app. They are currently creating content and fundraising to fully build and launch the program. 

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Project Name: Mind Elevation Project (ME Project)

A photo of the original team of ME Project.

The Original Team: Dr. Hope L. Crenshaw (Teen Health Mississippi), Cristopher Cox (Teen Health Mississippi), and MacKenzie Sroh Hines (Teen Health Mississippi) 

The Current Team: Dr. Hope L. Crenshaw (Teen Health Mississippi) and Anupria Davenport (Teen Health Mississippi)

How Might We increase teens’ sense of agency and efficacy over their sexual/reproductive health and mental health, thus reducing STIs and teen pregnancy in under-served communities of color?

Description: Mind Elevation Project (ME Project) is described as “President Obama meets Beyonce/Jay-Z meets Sexual Health Educator and Mental Health Educator at a Resource Library Online....all built and orchestrated by Mississippi youth.” The team created six digital characters from rural Mississippi who deal with a range of issues such as consent, relationships, body image, sex and sexuality, and abuse. Project ME uses the characters’ stories to link youth to vetted, high-quality mental and sexual health information and resources. Their goal is to make conversations about sexual and mental health safe, fun, and cool! They infuse colorful illustrations/animations, storytelling, online polls, and music and they meet youth where they are. In the future, they hope that the ME Project becomes a national/international resource for youth. Although the project was created with youth in Mississippi, they want to show other states how to create characters that resonate with youth, how to work with youth as partners in creating high-quality solutions to address challenges within their communities, and how to support youth mental and sexual health.  

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Project Name: Bloom

A team photo of Bloom Science alongside their children.

The Original Team: Anthony Veneziale (Speechless, Inc), Samantha Grant Weisler (GUSH productions) Michael Lopez (Bravo Foundation)

The Current Team: Anthony Veneziale (Speechless, Inc), Serena Saeed Winn (Sutter Health), Michael Lopez (Bravo Foundation), Samantha Grant Weisler (GUSH productions),and Caricia Catalani (Pear Therapeautics)

How Might We provide age-appropriate sex education during the grade school years? How might we enable parents to customize their child's sexual health curriculum to meet family needs and aspirations?  

Description: Bloom is sexuality education for the modern age. Each ‘Playbook’ is filled with relevant, age-appropriate activities and prompts for parents and grade school-aged kids to work on together. Research shows that it’s better to teach things like biology, empathy, and safety earlier rather than later, which is why these books are designed for kids from kindergarten through 5th grade. The team recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and has printed over 1,000 Playbooks! The team hopes that these playbooks will help turn the “the talk” into “the ongoing conversation.” Playbooks can be purchased through their website.

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