The Process and Benefits of a University and State Health Agency Collaboration for Alcohol-free Pregnancies in Oregon
J Popul Ther Clin Pharmacol Vol 18(1):e65-e73; February 2, 2011
Original Research
Jessica W Henderson, Lesa Dixon-Gray

Background

A significant number of college women are at risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancies because the ages of the heaviest alcohol consumption is typically 18 through 21 years, and contraception may be used ineffectively or not at all. These risks call for greater prevention efforts.

Objective
Collaboration between a higher education institution and a government health agency to reduce alcohol-exposed pregnancies in Oregon.

Methods

Health professionals from the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Prevention Program of the Oregon Public Health Division presented current research and explained the mission of a Center for Disease Control (CDC) cooperative agreement to university students in a Health Communication course. The students then developed social marketing messages that targeted alcohol use and/or contraception behavior.

Results

At the end of the course, the students presented their campaigns campus-wide, and to the state agency. Four of the theory-based messages are illustrated in this article.

Conclusion

The students brought to the state FAS Program a specific range of knowledge, vocabulary and creative skills to create messages for young adults. University students reported benefits of becoming familiar with government agencies and working on “real-life” projects that had the potential to be used in community settings.

Key Words: Public health collaboration, community collaboration, social marketing, alcohol-exposed pregnancy

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