Institute Sessions


Institutes at the SAHM annual meeting are three-hour sessions (with a 15-minute break), typically with multiple presenters. These sessions allow added time for a more in-depth examination of a particular subject in the field of adolescent medicine or health. They are intended for hands-on training, though they may also employ a variety of other educational formats: lecture, case-based presentation, panel discussion, or small group work.

* You will be asked to choose your preferred institute during the registration process, which helps SAHM meeting planners assign appropriately sized rooms for each session. However, once at the meeting, you are free to switch to another institute during a given session without penalty.


Educational Tracks: Each session is categorized by an educational track to help attendees identify the type of session being offered. Tracks are identified as:
  • Professional Development
  • Research
  • Clinical (Foundations or Advances)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  • 8:00-11:00 a.m.
SAHM Research and Mentoring Forum:  Achieve Better Results by Defining Your Research Agenda and Managing Your Time
Maria Trent, MD, MPH, FSAHM1; Elizabeth  Miller, MD, PhD, FSAHM2; Jean  Emans, MD, FSAHM3
1Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 3Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Track: Professional Development

Description: The SAHM Research Committee leaders and LEAH program directors developed an initiative at SAHM in 2011 to strengthen research careers in adolescent health through a Research and Mentoring Forum. The program continues to build upon the recommendations from the November 2008 William T. Grant Foundation Conference, the IOM report on “Missing Opportunities,” the mission of the interdisciplinary LEAH program, the longstanding collaborative relationship of the Maternal Child Health Bureau and SAHM, and SAHM's strategic plan for the development of a new generation of adolescent health researchers who have the capacity to conduct research that addresses health disparities in health care delivery and health outcomes among adolescents in national and international settings. Through this collaborative effort, selected fellows and junior faculty have participated in a mentoring seminar and carefully paired with senior investigators to augment their research and professional development. 

This year we will select new mentoring participants and in addition invite the current cohort of forum mentees to present their research in progress with lessons learned and to receive additional feedback from colleagues and mentors regarding their work. New participants will be selected through an application process and also matched with experienced SAHM researchers for at least one year. One of the major challenges for adolescent health researchers and clinician educators who want to develop scholarly products is how to balance the need to effectively clarify objectives and plan to be creative and productive while balancing other administrative, teaching, and/or clinical obligations. The focus of this year's interactive training component will be focused on defining a research agenda and time management strategies to facilitate productivity and reduce stress. 

Following the interactive training, small groups of 1-2 junior investigators with faculty will participate in roundtable discussions during which participants in the new cohort will give informal oral presentations of their proposed projects or works-in-progress and receive feedback from mentors, peers, others. Faculty mentors not assigned to groups will meet to  discuss challenging issues for professional development and trainee and junior faculty advising. The group will end the session with a discussion of the major challenges being faced across the groups (e.g., grant writing, sample size, IRBs, success in your first academic position, continuing individual productivity as a faculty advisor/leader) and provide guidance for the new mentee-mentor pairs for the coming year. While the Institute will particularly focus on the selected mentee-mentor pairs, the Institute will also welcome trainees, junior faculty and senior faculty interested in learning more about mentoring and approaches to fostering research careers. 

Educational Objectives:
  1. Execute a successful mentorship relationship with a senior investigator in adolescent health
  2. Identify strategies to overcome common pitfalls faced by junior researchers while developing a research program
  3. Develop a plan for defining a research agenda and managing time for productivity

Mindfulness and the Biopsychosocial Approach: Integrating Foundational Concepts to Promote Health Throughout Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Richard E. Kreipe, MD, FSAHM1; Dzung X. Vo, MD2
1Golisano Children's Hospital, University of Rochester, 2British Columbia Children's Hospital

Track: Professional Development

Description: Promoting health in adolescents and young adults presents challenges in clinical practice. This is especially true when working with those who are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood, or who have chronic health problems. Mindfulness (focusing one’s attention to become more aware, in the moment, on purpose, without analysis or judgment, by distancing one’s self from internal thoughts and feelings, while actively noticing and experiencing being “present”) originated centuries ago, but in 1979 was introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn as a powerful tool in medicine to address a variety of symptoms from which patients seek relief. The biopsychosocial approach, described by George Engel in 1977 in response to the sometimes clinically counter-productive uni-directional, linear, categorical framework of cause-and-effect in the biomedical model, offers a more scientifically sound and clinically robust foundation for promoting health in adolescents and young adults. Integrating mindfulness and the biopsychosocial approach holds great promise in helping patients to empower themselves to: 1) achieve an understanding of their brain-body interactions; 2) gain mastery over somatic symptoms with reduced reliance on medications; 3) recognize the physiologic responses to common conditions, such as depression or anxiety, that inform health promoting self-care behaviors; and 4) transition from adolescent to adult health care settings with a greater sense of self-efficacy.    

This case-oriented, evidence-based, interactive session is designed to provide background information on mindfulness and the biopsychosocial approach to support their integration into clinical interactions with adolescent and young adult patients. Because applying mindfulness in clinical situations requires the clinician to have at last rudimentary skills in mindfulness, the session will include opportunities that allow each participant to experience “now,” rather than the all-too-common human problem of being distracted by intrusive thoughts and feelings. Although this session will focus on enhancing mindfulness in adolescent and young adult patients, the benefits to participants in their own self-care will become readily apparent.    

Following a brief canvass of participants regarding their experiences with mindfulness and expectations for the session, a didactic discussion exploring the principles of mindfulness in the context of findings from neuroscience, and the key elements of the biopsychosocial in the context of five clinical cases will be presented. The session leader will demonstrate the integration of mindfulness and the biopsychosocial approach via video clips of clinical interactions with an adolescent and a young adult patient. Participants will then identify and discuss key elements of mindfulness and the biopsychosocial approach in the videos. A variety of brief mindful practices will be interspersed throughout the session to engage participants and enable them to enhance their innate mindfulness skills (being present to attentively experience each moment, with a non-judgmental, open and curious mind). Resources available at the session faculty home institutions (University of Rochester; University of British Columbia) will be reviewed for participant use in the future. On-line resources and learning communities, mobile apps that can be used at any time and any place, and mindfulness training opportunities will be made available. Interactive discussion will be expected.

Educational Objectives:
  1. Integrate key elements of mindfulness and the biopsychosocial approach in daily clinical practice to promote health in adolescents and young adults
  2. Apply current scientific evidence regarding brain-body interactions to reframe challenging somatic symptoms in pathophysiologic, rather than emotional or psychological, terms.
  3. Translate abstract concepts of mindfulness into concrete behaviors that enhance a sense of self-efficacy and mastery in daily life.



Everything You Wanted to Know About Transitioning Trans* Adolescents, But Didn't Know to Ask:  Program Development for Transgender Adolescents and Young Adults
Lee Ann Elizabeth Conard, DO; Charla B. Weiss, PhD; Sarah D. Corathers, MD;  Sarah  Painer, LISW; Gylynthia E. Trotman, MD, MPH
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Track: Professional Development

Description: Our team (physicians with subspecialties of adolescent medicine, pediatric and adult endocrinology, and pediatric gynecology, pharmacist, social worker and social psychologist) will describe the development of a multidisciplinary transgender clinic in an academic pediatric medical center in a conservative Midwestern city, and discuss essential program components as well as identify challenges and potential pitfalls based on current practice guidelines and literature review.  We will analyze treatment recommendations and resources for transgender patients at different ages and stages of physical and psychosocial development (early adolescence through young adulthood), as well as different stages of transition (from one gender to another). Additionally, we will recommend ways to assist these patients in their transition to adult care providers. We will use interactive discussion of cases from our practice using results of instant response questions, which allows participants to respond anonymously.  Areas that will be touched on in the interactive case discussion include:  our adolescent medicine specialist addressing risk and protective factors, ethical issues, and body acceptance.  Our pediatric gynecologist will examine menstrual suppression, contraception and fertility preservation.  Our pediatric endocrinologist will discuss puberty blockers, and readiness for transition to adult care. The endocrinologist and pharmacist will review gender affirming hormones.  Our social worker will address mental health and therapy, and family connectedness, and touch on legal and insurance concerns.  Our social psychologist will discuss terminology, creation of community alliances and transitioning in occupational and school settings. 


Educational Objectives:

  1. Identify and select essential program components that should be available for a transgender health program to succeed.
  2. Assess types of services and resources that should be available to adolescents and young adults at different pubertal stages, stages of gender transition, and as they transition to adult care.
  3. Consider current treatment guidelines for transgender and gender non-conforming youth and young adults using a case-based approach.



Taking Transition to the Next Level
Miriam Kaufman, BSN, MD, FRCPC1; Sandy Penn Whitehouse, MD, FRCPC, MALS2; Janet E. McDonagh, MBBS, FRACP, MD3;  Kate Steinbeck, MBBS, PhD, FRACP4; Joan-Carles Suris, MD, MPH, PhD5; Lisa K. Tuchman, MD, MPH6; Susan Towns, MBBS, MMH, FRACP, MMH7; Mary Paone, RN, MSN8
1The Hospital for Sick Children/University of Toronto, 2University of British Columbia, 3University of Birmingham, 4The University of Sydney, 5GRSA/IUMSP, 6Children's National Medical Center, 7The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, 8BC Children's Hospital

Track: Professional Development

Description: The number of adolescents and young adults with paediatric onset chronic health conditions continues to increase as mortality decreases in these conditions. These youth, often referred to as Youth with Special Health Care Needs (YSHCN) transfer into the adult health care system at varying ages (from age 12 in some countries to age 21 or older in others).  Transition is the process of preparing young people to make that transfer; this process continues in their first few years in the adult-centered health care system.     

The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine put health care transition on the map with a special edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health in 1993 and SAHM members have continued on the forefront of developing and testing transitional care.  Many adolescent health professionals are becoming involved in their hospital’s transition efforts, or are starting programs to help young people and their families make the move from pediatric to adult care.  There is a growing body of evidence to guide clinicians in their transitional care.       

This interactive, hands-on institute led by a dynamic group of well-known transition experts from the US, Canada, Switzerland, UK and Australia will help participants take their transition practice to the next level.  This institute will allow attendees to refine and expand their skills in transition practice and will put into context all the research and other presentations on transition throughout the conference. They will also consider the many other transitions that young people experience at the same time as health-care transition.      

Educational Objectives:

  1. Describe at least one novel or innovative transition approach that they can apply to their practice
  2. Create a plan for the implementation of a transition program in their practice/institution
  3. Use their new knowledge of the developmental and operational skills needed to succeed in the adult health system to refine their current transition practices



Youth-Engaged Research: Sharing Good Practice
Nicola J. Gray, PhD, FSAHM1; Kym Ahrens, MD, MPH2; Charles G. Zimbrick-Rogers, MD3;  Aletha Y. Akers, MD, MPH4
1Green Line Consulting Limited, 2Seattle Children’s Hospital & Research Institute, 3Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, 4Magee Womens Research Institute Magee-Womens Hospital

Track: Research

Description: Our own previous research and policy work with young people has emphasized the importance of meaningful participation in the design and development of research. They express concern, for example, about the research cycle, particularly how long it takes to get to dissemination work; young research participants may well be adults by the time the research is published. Our Joint Research SIG session in Austin in 2014 – which was enriched by the participation of young people and their families – revealed a number of challenges in securing meaningful engagement. One challenge was the differing agendas of researchers and youth/families, and thus the importance of sincere and interested community engagement to better understand local people’s needs. There was also a heated debate about the practicalities, and quality assurance, of engaging young people as fieldworkers. We want attendees to recognize – and challenge – their own assumptions about the constraints of engaging youth. By sharing existing case studies, which we shall also seek from attendees before the session, we hope to broaden the scope of youth participation in all stages of research. We are aware of existing youth advisory groups in the US and beyond – we would like to understand how these groups were established and whether/how they can proliferate.  

At the beginning of the institute, we will present a didactic session to orientate the attendees to our plan, and to share some principles of youth engagement in research. This will take 30 minutes. We will organize the rest of this institute as a series of three ‘stations’, round which the attendees can move in any order. Each table will represent one or two of the stages of research:  Developing research questions and choosing methods; Project fieldwork and data analysis; Research product development and dissemination.  One institute leader will facilitate each station; the activities will be a mixture of group discussion and individual reflection exercises for each topic. A case study about that stage will be shared. Although attendees will be able to move freely to and from each discussion, the leaders will circulate through a 30-minute session three times over. We aim to involve young people and family members at the discussion on each table with the SAHM attendees, but this is subject to securing willing volunteers from the Los Angeles area and the resource to repay their travel expenses.   There will be 45 minutes at the end of the Institute for plenary feedback about youth engagement for each stage of research, and to address attendees’ remaining questions.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Develop strategies to involve youth and families in all aspects of research initiatives.
  2. Discuss and consolidate the benefits of research teams that combine both 'experts' and youth.
  3. Identify common challenges to engagement in youth participatory research, as well as strategies to address such challenges.


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