In 1996, Sue Breslauer brought a group of people from various health organizations together to organize a call to action on teen pregnancy. Sue was a volunteer leader with the National Council of Jewish Women and Planned Parenthood and was also involved with the Jr. League’s TOTAL program. The TOTAL Program was a St. Louis based, nationally recognized teen pregnancy prevention program that ultimately became the Wyman Center’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP). Seeing the need for a more coordinated effort to reduce teen pregnancy in the St. Louis area, the group organized the November 12, 1996 conference, "Primary Prevention of Teen Pregnancy: A Challenge to the St. Louis Community." Inspired and energized by keynote speakers Susan Philliber and Micheal Carrera, conference participants formed the Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership. The Partnership’s focus was on collaboration, networking and information sharing. Along with quarterly networking meetings, the Partnership sponsored a conference, a national recognized photo exhibit and a resource directory. Sue served as the Partnership’s first director.
Early financial supporters included Care Partners MC+ Health Plan, The Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative of Metropolitan Association of Philanthropy, the Incarnate Word Foundation, Mercy Health Plans, BJC Health Systems, St. Louis Health Care Network and Unity Health System. Significant funding allowing the Partnership to expand its scope of work came from the Missouri Department of Social Services. The Partnership has also received funds from an additional grant from the MAP Collaborative, the Alki Foundation within the Tides Foundation and the Deaconess Foundation.
In 2000, Missouri State Senator Betty Sims approached members of the Teen Pregnancy Partnership about developing a program to address teen pregnancy in Missouri. Working with faculty from the University of Missouri – St. Louis, the Partnership submitted a proposal to the Missouri Department of Social Service. This resulted in the Public Policy Research Center at UMSL being awarded a two-year grant to work with the Partnership. The focus of the grant was to develop the St. Louis coalition and provide funding and technical assistance to three counties in Missouri. Over 30 Missouri counties participated in submitting 25 proposals from which the Partnership selected Pemiscot, Dallas and Barton counties for the technical assistance program. As part of this grant, the Partnership sponsored two state-wide conferences, five one day intensive trainings for the three sites, distributed $36,000 to the three sites and introduced the website - www.teenpregnacy-stl.org. The State of Missouri grant also included an extensive evaluation component and allowed the Partnership to hire a full time Executive Director (Aileen McMurrer), a Program Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant.
In 2008, after several years of dedicated volunteer work from a very committed board but no funding during the abstinence-only-unless-marriage years, one of the board members (Allison Hile) dropped off the board to become the volunteer Executive Director and get the organization refunded. In 2009 a grant from the March of Dimes allowed the organization to pay the Executive Director part-time. The bi-annual conference became annual and professional development meetings increased to bi-monthly.
In 2010, with technical assistance from Advocates for Youth’s National Support Center for State Teen Pregnancy Prevention Organization, the Partnership emerged as a statewide organization. A grant from the Roblee Foundation in 2011 allowed the Partnership to continue training across the state and expand its advocacy work with legislative involvement. Sexual Health 101 was added as a regular fall training for adults new to the field or in need of an update.
By 2013 the Executive Director, Allison Hile, was paid full-time and a part-time Program Coordinator, Katy Southworth was hired. This was due to the generous contribution Development Systems, Inc. made of their operating funds to TPPP when they closed. Trainings on the seven topic areas of the National Sexuality Education Standards were offered and attended by sexual health educators from the City, County, and State Departments of Health and a variety of other agencies.