Officially founded in 1997, the Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership (TPPP) promotes adolescent sexual health and teen pregnancy prevention by uniting Missouri through advocacy, collaboration, training, and public awareness. TPPP brings together public and private health agencies, youth serving organizations, school districts, parents, and individuals to raise awareness of the impact of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on adolescent sexual health, and to promote and provide evidence-based strategies to improve health outcomes for teens in our region. TPPP has focused programming in three areas: community engagement and public awareness, professional development, and advocacy.
In 1996, our founder, Sue Breslauer, brought together a group of people from various Missouri health organizations to coordinate a call to action on teen pregnancy. Sue was a volunteer leader with the National Council of Jewish Women and Planned Parenthood, and was 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 Michael Carrera, conference participants formed the Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership. The TPPP’s focus was on collaboration, networking and information sharing. Along with quarterly networking meetings, TPPP sponsored a conference, a nationally recognized photo exhibit, and a resource directory. Sue served as the TPPP’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 TPPP to expand its scope of work came from the Missouri Department of Social Services. TPPP 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 & Prevention Partnership about developing a program to address teen pregnancy in Missouri. Working with faculty from the University of Missouri–St. Louis, TPPP 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 TPPP. 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 TPPP selected Pemiscot, Dallas and Barton counties for the technical assistance program. As part of this grant, TPPP sponsored two statewide 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 TPPP to hire a full time Executive Director, Aileen McMurrer, a Program Coordinator, and an Administrative Assistant.
From 2001 to 2004 TPPP held three successful annual conferences, and in 2006, shifted focus to reaching professionals who serve pregnant and parenting teens as well as those who work in health and prevention fields.
In 2008, after several years of dedicated volunteer work from a very committed board but no funding during the abstinence-only-unless-marriage years, board member 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 Organizations, TPPP emerged as a statewide organization.
A grant from the Roblee Foundation in 2011 allowed TPPP 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 was hired. This was due to the generous contribution of operating funds made by Development Systems, Inc. when they closed. Trainings on the seven topic areas of the National Sexuality Education Standards (NSES) were offered and attended by sexual health educators from the City, County, and State Departments of Health and a variety of other agencies.
Allison Hile retired in the spring of 2014 and the Board managed TPPP through the transition to a new Executive Director. Under the leadership of Interim Executive Director, Stefani Weeden-Smith, TPPP continued to provide bi-monthly professional development meetings and NSES trainings. In addition, Sexual Health 101 was conducted in Independence, MO for the first time and TPPP started working with schools in the Greater St. Louis area to evaluate their health education curriculums. A parent survey and focus groups were conducted with expertise from UMSL and funding from Deaconess Foundation.
TPPP’s current Executive Director, Meg Boyko, joined the agency in 2014. In 2015, Better Family Life was awarded a second Federal Teen Pregnancy Prevention grant and chose TPPP as a community partner in that work. Since that time, TPPP has coordinated a Community Advisory Group to support their teen pregnancy prevention. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, TPPP staff and volunteers updated and reformatted our program options and re-introduced the National Sexuality Education Standards trainings by grade level. TPPP also supported the Parkway School District as they adopted a more comprehensive framework for their sexual health classes.
In partnership with Better Family Life and Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club, TPPP launched a youth-friendly referral website, www.teenhealthstl.org, in 2017. That same year, TPPP partnered with the University of Missouri–St. Louis to train and support facilitators in the evidence-based sexual health curriculum, Making a Difference, which was implemented in a local middle school as part of the Personal Responsibility Education Program.
TPPP has provided in-service trainings for Health teachers and Family and Consumer Science teachers in multiple districts. Pre- and post-tests show that these programs met learning objectives and created significant increases in knowledge and skills. In January 2018, TPPP provided over 100 Saint Louis Public School Nurses and Health Teachers with professional development on the National Sexual Health Education Standards in order to improve their curriculum implementation in 2018.
In 2019, Teen Pregnancy & Prevention Partnership is still working hard towards the prevention of unplanned teen pregnancies and promotion of adolescent sexual health in Missouri. This includes partnering with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to provide Foundations, a training on core skills for facilitating sex education. Through our annual conferences, professional development, and advocacy, we are building strong supports for teens in our community . TPPP celebrates the diversity of individuals and communities, recognizes the impact of social and health disparities, and believes in using multiple evidence-based approaches. We look forward to adding to our rich history in ways that benefit young people across the state.