About Wisconsin PATCH
Providers and Teens Communicating for Health (PATCH) is an innovative, youth-driven program working to improve adolescents' health and well-being across the nation. Wisconsin PATCH is made up of a collaboration of PATCH teams from across the state and is part of the larger PATCH vision! We work in communities across Wisconsin to educate, engage, and empower young people to take control of their own health.
At PATCH, we believe that health care practices, programs, and policies should be developed with young people rather than just for them. After all, who could be better than teens at providing insight into the needs and desires of teens?!
Vision: A supportive environment in which all youth are healthy, connected, and thriving.
Mission: To improve adolescent health and wellbeing alongside and in true partnership with youth.
Since 2010, Wisconsin PATCH has been working directly with youth and health care professionals in communities across the state!
Each year, a diverse team of high school students near our five in-person Teen Educator Program locations are hired as to lead educational workshops with peers and health care professionals.
Across the state, 10-15 adolescents between the ages 14-19 are also hired as part of the statewide PATCH Youth Advocacy Fellowship to provide advice and input on decisions that impact youth.
PATCH youth are responsible for cultivating open and honest dialogue about adolescent health and prove that young voices do matter...
Because THEY are the experts.
Each of our programs is designed to ENGAGE, EDUCATE, and EMPOWER young people to raise their voices.
Through a powerful youth-adult collaboration, young people are trained to deliver workshops, participate in advocacy, and provide feedback to youth-related efforts throughout the state. Teen Educators and Youth Advocates involved in PATCH are paid for their time and expertise.
These young people gain life-changing information and develop necessary skills through a 20-hour training process and ongoing enrichment sessions. They use this knowledge to deliver peer education workshops and professional development for health care professionals, engage in community and state-wide initiatives, and advocate for better adolescent policies in schools, communities, and health systems.
As part of their employment, PATCH youth become expert presenters, powerful storytellers, and reliable resources for their peers. They are encouraged to take information gained through PATCH and participate in any number of health related advocacy efforts! For many, working as a PATCH Teen Educator or Youth Advocate allows them to find their voice, develop their story, and identify their passions.
Every Teen Educator Program in Wisconsin offers two educational workshops.
Each workshop focuses on the Three R's of PATCH: Relationships, Rights, and Responsibility!
PATCH for Teens: Peer-to-Peer is an interactive 60-minute workshop all about 'Getting the Care You Need and Deserve!' The workshop is led by teens and facilitated with youth groups, student organizations or clubs, community centers, or any other place where adolescents gather to learn!
The PATCH for Providers workshop is a one-of-a-kind experience where health care professionals engage directly with today's youth! The 90-minute teen-facilitated workshop will help health care professionals better serve adolescent patients. Teen Educators share their accurate and authentic insights into the concerns, preferences and realities that impact the health care experiences of today’s youth.
PATCH Youth Advocates can also lend their voice to your project, curriculum, campaign, or any other youth-facing effort.
Youth can play an extremely important role in enhancing adolescent health efforts; however existing structures of power often deter meaningful youth participation in decisions that impact their lives. To bridge this gap, PATCH Youth Advocates offer Consulting Sessions. These virtual meetings bring youth and professionals together, creating space for youth to voice their feedback and ideas and space for professionals to improve their projects and programs.
“PATCH HAS GIVEN ME SO MUCH CONFIDENCE IN PUBLIC SPEAKING AND SELF ADVOCACY, A NEW AND UNIQUE COMMUNITY OF PEERS, OPPORTUNITIES IN PUBLIC HEALTH, INSIGHT, KNOWLEDGE, COMPASSION, AND SO MANY OTHER THINGS I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO PUT INTO WORDS.” - PATCH YOUTH