Westat Advances to Final Round of Innovation Next Awards' Program to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

Westat has been selected as one of five finalist teams for the 2016 Innovation Next Awards, a program of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A field of 127 applicants began the competition to bring a “design thinking” approach to teen pregnancy prevention efforts.

For this next stage in the competition, the five teams will receive up to $325,000 to develop innovative technology interventions over the next 18 months for preventing teen pregnancy. In addition, they will each be given technical assistance and support from The National Campaign and the design firm IDEO. The result will be five audience-tested products that will launch in early 2018.

Westat’s project focuses on Hispanic/Latino teens, a demographic group that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports has a higher rate of childbearing than any other teenage population in the United States.

The Westat team’s idea evolved from “Hablemos,” an interactive, mobile-friendly toolkit for Hispanic/Latino parents to use to talk with their children about pregnancy prevention to “Momentos,” a text messaging service that will provide Spanish-dominant Hispanic/Latino parents in the Washington, DC, area with practical guidance to effectively teach their children about sexual health.

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