Improving Healthcare Delivery for Young People in Payson

October 17, 2022 by Tammy Howell

Key Takeaways


North Country HealthCare’s Payson location is participating in a program to improve care for adolescents. 

So What?

The 18-month intensive program created by the University of Michigan is utilized by health centers across the country.

Now What?

Once the program is complete, our Payson location will be evaluated on how it has improved access to care for young patients. 

The team at North Country HealthCare in Payson want to make it easier for adolescents to take care of their health.

North Country HealthCare – Payson is one of ten health centers across the state that is participating in an intensive, 18-month best-practices-driven program designed to address the unique healthcare needs of young people. The program aims to address these needs by removing barriers and improving healthcare delivery. All ten of the health centers participating in the program are part of the Arizona Family Health Partnership (AFHP), which is Arizona’s designated Title X agency.

The program, called the “Adolescent Champion Model” (ACM), is an evidence-based intervention developed by the University of Michigan. The program is funded by the Arizona Department of Health Services and managed through a collaboration with AFHP “to assess and improve a health center’s culture, environment, policies and practices by identifying and addressing barriers to these critical services for youth,” said AFHP Adolescent Health Program Manager Tracy Pedrotti, MPH. “Adolescents need access to high-quality healthcare services to achieve optimal health and wellbeing, providing them an opportunity to thrive as they transition into adulthood.”

Participating health centers

This is the program’s fourth cohort. Participating health centers include:

  • Abrazo Family Medicine Residency – Phoenix
  • Adelante Healthcare – Goodyear
  • Chiricahua Community Health Centers – Sierra Vista
  • Creek Valley Health Clinic – Colorado City
  • Desert Sun Pediatrics – Phoenix
  • North Country HealthCare – Payson
  • Terros Health (27th Avenue Health Center) – Phoenix
  • Valle Del Sol (7thStreet) – Phoenix
  • Wesley Community and Health Center (Central City) – Phoenix
  • Wesley Community and Health Center (Mobile Unit) – Phoenix

“Adolescent-centered environment” certification

“Health centers successfully completing the 18-month ACM implementation program and those going above and beyond to put in place additional best practices can earn certification as an ‘adolescent-centered environment’ from the University of Michigan,” Pedrotti said.

Requirements for certification include, but are not limited to:

  • Ensuring extended hours for adolescents including some evenings and weekends
  • Posting visual cues and materials throughout the health center indicating adolescents are welcomed and valued
  • Training staff and providers about confidentiality for minor patients, including state laws and when parental consent is needed
  • Displaying information about adolescent confidentiality and minor consent rights

Ten Arizona health centers have already been certified, and ten are participating in the third cohort, which concludes in November. The fourth cohort began in May with an additional 10 health centers and will conclude in October 2023.

Postive feedback from youth

Youth surveys conducted after implementation of the program have shown positive perceptions of health center environments and staff being welcoming to teens, particularly in addressing confidentiality, which is a concern that often keeps young people from accessing health services.

Expanding on improvements

Pedrotti notes that with each new cohort, prior Champions often sign on with a new location from their health network and brand-new partners participate as word spreads about the program’s effectiveness. North Country HealthCare clinics in Winslow and Flagstaff are participating in the ongoing Cohort 3, while its Payson clinic signed on with the fourth cohort.

Wesley Community and Health Centers has one health center that has earned certification with plans to have the entire network complete the program. Chiricahua Health Center’s mobile unit was the first in the nation to earn Gold Level certification during the first cohort and now its Pediatric Center of Excellence is participating as well.

Empowering young patients

“The Adolescent Champion Model improves healthcare delivery for young people by identifying and addressing barriers to optimal health services and empowering young patients to establish positive lifelong health behaviors,” said Pedrotti said. “Achieving certification is an intense process, but evidence shows the outcomes are significant for young people, whose unique healthcare needs often go unmet.”

Primary care providers interested in participating in upcoming cohorts should email Tracy Pedrotti or call (602) 688-6260.

For more information about the Adolescent Champion Model, visit

Categories: Company News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

Recent News

As we head into the final months of 2023, North Country HealthCare is pleased to provide our 2023 Cultural Competency Report. This report provides ins …

National Health Center Week takes place August 6-12, 2023. The team at North Country HealthCare is excited to celebrate National Health Center Week 20 …

In a world that thrives on the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy to overlook the simple yet fundamental act of hydration. Water, the elixir o …

Subscribe For Updates
© 2019 North Country HealthCare