Newsroom > DHHS News Release

This release is being issued on behalf of the State Board of Health.

October 29, 2009


Ed Discoe, M.D., Chairman, (402) 564-2816
Monica Gissler, DHHS Program Manager for State Board of Health, (402) 471-6515


Columbus Teen Moms Program Receives Award from Board of Health

Lincoln—The State Board of Health at its last meeting gave a public health recognition award to the Youth for Christ’s Teen Moms Program in Columbus.

Dr. Ed Discoe of Columbus, Chair of the Board of Health, presented the award to Darla Neemeyer and Suzanne Pillen on September 21 st at a board meeting hosted by Columbus Community Hospital. Following the meeting, Linda Heiden, a public member on the State Board of Health from Bertrand, toured the Youth for Christ Center.

Over 11 percent of all births at the Columbus Community Hospital during 2008 were to teenagers.

The Teen Moms Program offers free parenting and relationship classes, mentoring, and case management. The program is open to all youth ages 11-19 in the Columbus area. During 2008, Youth for Christ offered services to 5,455 students. In 2008, 70 teen moms and 21 young dads participated with their 92 babies.

One of the Teen Moms Program’s goals is to provide an intervention in the life of the teen mother and to promote healthy relationships, boundaries and abstinence. Of the 70 teen moms served in 2007 and 2008, 27 unmarried teen moms continued to participate in the program for one year or more. Of those 27, only 15 percent have had a 2 nd baby, which is 35 percent under one non-profit’s study showing 50 percent go on to have a 2 nd child as a teen.

The East Central District Health Department has collaborated with the Teen Moms Program on parenting, health in pregnancy and the effects of smoking on unborn babies and children, as well as flu prevention and treatment. Central Nebraska Community Services works closely with the program on case management for the babies of teen mothers, housing, parenting, home visits, Head Start, Early Head Start and commodity foods. The program participates with more than 25 other agencies monthly to collaboratively prevent child abuse and neglect.

Youth for Christ, Columbus is a non-profit, non-denominational organization. They are funded through private donations, grants and some funding provided by the Columbus Area United Way.

The State Board of Health recognizes preventive health initiatives like the Teen Moms Programs as being critical to improving the quality of life for individuals and communities.

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