Concurrent Sessions

E3- Adolescent Outreach: Reaching and Teaching Teens

Theme 3. Expanding your reach

  • Date: Thursday October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session E
  • Time: 11:00-11:45am
  • Room: Pier 5
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Practical (e.g. Presentation on how to implement programs and/or practices in the team environment)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will have the tools to build their own Adolescent Outreach program. Specific learning goals for this workshop include:

  1. To learn to develop strategies on engaging and building relationship with local high schools
  2. Creating a program that is aligned with the school’s curriculum
  3. Creating a dynamic inter-professional team to deliver the program
  4. Incorporating learners and teaching in this model
  5. Evaluation of the program


The Adolescent  Outreach Program was created in 1988 to allow adolescents  in our community an opportunity to ask questions and have their health concerns addressed by physicians in a confidential and non-judgmental setting.  The program also aimed to increase Family Medicine residents’ exposure to the health issues and concerns facing adolescents, a group that traditionally does not visit their Family Physician regularly.

In 2011, with the establishment of Sunnybrook Academic  Family Health Team, inter-professional teams consisting of a physician, residents, dietitian and social worker as appropriate started visiting local high schools to provide education on topics such as mental health, sexual health, body image etc. Each session is approximately one hour in duration, with approximately 20 – 25 students in attendance.  Students have the opportunity to submit written questions anonymously and ask questions directly on pre-identified topics. Teams led by residents use various interactive methods such as games/quizzes/small group activities to engage adolescents.  With information technology available at the finger tips of adolescents, it’s necessary to have a secure platform to provide correct health education early.  Therefore, primary care involvement in Adolescent health needs to be increased across the province. Our program is one such example of a platform to educate and promote health for adolescents.

This session will outline the process of creating a formal inter-professional Adolescent Outreach program in a Family Health Team, whether it be in an Academic setting or not. We will share our best practices as well as lessons learned since the establishment of the program.


  • Purti Papneja, Family Physician and Assitant Professor at University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Anne Wideman, Family Physician and Assitant Professor at University of Toronto, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, Department of Family and Community Medicine