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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

Columbia: STD Prevention Training Center Leads Initiatives for STD Awareness Month

April is National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Awareness Month and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health is involved in several efforts to curb the rising rates of sexually-transmitted infections in the U.S.

The Mailman School is home to one of eight Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) STD Prevention Training Centers (PTC). Led by Dr. Alwyn Cohall, PI, NYC STD PTC, and professor of sociomedical sciences and population and family health, the PTC is dedicated to improving the skills of healthcare providers in identifying and managing patients with STDs. In addition to Dr. Cohall, two MSPH graduates serve in key staff roles as director and coordinator.

The NYC PTC serves clinical providers in NY, NJ, OH, MI, IN, PR, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The PTC provided expert consultation to the American Academy of Pediatrics to produce a video for pediatricians for providing sexual health services to adolescents.  The PTC also partnered with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to provide a national virtual Quality Improvement project to increase confidential sexual history documentation and chlamydia screening of sexually active adolescent and young adult females in high volume community primary care practices.

On March 26 the NYC PTC hosted a symposium for health providers on Adolescents Sexual Health, co-sponsored with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYCDOHMH). Several Mailman faculty presented, as well as speakers from the NYCDOMH and Callen Lorde Community Health Center.

Read more about the NYC PTC.

Columbia Mailman is also home to Project STAY (Services to Assist Youth), led by Dr. Cohall, which provides services to vulnerable teens and young adults through community venue-based screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV.

Further, the Project STAY model has been used as framework to support a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grant to screen youth in the juvenile justice systems for STDs/HIV and substance use.