Duval County, FL, Public Schools Teen Health Centers

In 2013, Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) worked with the Florida Department of Health to expand the services offered at three of their Full Services Schools clinics that provided only mental and behavioral health services.

Providing on-site health services helps keep teens healthy

Teens in the United States are less likely than younger children and adults to receive recommended preventive health services. On-site services, such as school-based health centers, mobile testing, and limited service clinics play an important role in keeping teens healthy. Nationwide, 21% of adolescents aged 10–17 years did not have a preventive care visit in the previous 12 months.1 Less than one-third of providers routinely discuss sensitive sexual health topics at preventive care visits.2

On-site social and health services are important sources of care for students and can include sexual health services to help prevent HIV, STDs, and pregnancy. School leaders in Duval County, Florida, recognized the importance of such services and realized changes were needed in their county to improve their students’ health.

Expanding on-site health and social services

Recognizing the need to address teen health in the county, DCPS established the Jacksonville Partnership for Promoting Health for Emerging Adults as a collaborative youth-focused partnership to deliver a school-based approach to improve the sexual health outcomes of Duval youth.

An essential component involved not only increasing the number of schools providing on-site services, but also expanding the services offered to include sexual health services such as HIV, STD, and pregnancy testing and access to condoms. Once access to these services was established and provided, the collaborative coined the term Teen Health Centers.

Use of Teen Health Centers Of the 631 DCPS students who accessed Teen Health Centers during the 2017−2018 school year: 588 Received group sexual health education, 227 Received individual education sessions, Key sexual health services provided: 167 Received HIV tests, 176 Were tested for gonorrhea/chlamydia, 31 Had pregnancy test

Teen Health Centers have the potential to serve thousands of Duval County high school students

To address the continuing need for services—Duval County high school students had the lowest rate of condom use in the state and the county’s STD rate was 59% higher than Florida’s in 2015—the partnership strived to provide access to more students.3

DCPS Teen Health Centers are currently available to nearly 11,500 students enrolled in seven priority schools as part of efforts supported by the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through cooperative agreement PS18-1807: Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention.

DCPS continues to leverage their CDC funding to maintain the number of centers providing student access to sexual health services across the district. This includes youth who are at high risk for HIV and other STDs.

Teen Health Centers’ community partners included:
  • DCPS superintendents and school administrators
  • School Board of Duval County
  • Florida Department of Health in Duval County
  • Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network (JASMYN)
  • Full Service Schools of Jacksonville, Florida
  • University of North Florida Brooks College of Health
  • United Way of Northeast Florida
Teen Health Centers’ community partners included:
  • Leveraging funds across multiple agencies
    • 2013: $150,000 State Health Funds
    • 2017: $90,000 DC School Board Sustainability Funding, which increased to $115,000 in 2018
    • In-kind services from United Way
  • Providing professional development and technical assistance to school staff
  • Providing information to parents through the DCPS Parent Academies
  • Expanding community partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Providing sexual health education in all high schools and middle schools across the district
Progress in Duval County: From 2013–2017, the number of Teen Health Centers increased from 3 schools to 7 schools, From 2013–2017, 23%26#37; fewer Duval County high school students had ever had sex, and In 2017, about 1 in 4 Duval County high school students were currently sexually active– a 22%26#37; decrease since 2013

“Our students are beginning to depend on this valuable resource, and have become more effective in spreading the word that these services are available.”

Dr. Dana Kriznar
Chief of Staff,
Duval County School Board Member
Duval County Public Schools

  1. Black LI, Nugent CN, Vahratian A. Access and utilization of selected preventive health services among adolescents aged 10–17. NCHS data brief, no 246. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.
  2. Klein JD, Wilson K. Delivering quality care: adolescents’ discussion of health risks with their providers. J Adolesc Health 2002;30(3):190–5.
  3. Florida Department of Health. Division of Public Health Statistics & Performance Management. FLHealthCHARTS. Bacterial STDs 15–19. Accessed March 6, 2017.