About

Keeping It Real Together (KIR-T) is a multi-agency collaborative that works to improve sexual health for Los Angeles County youth with access to medically accurate information and age appropriate services.

Led by the Adolescent & School Health Unit of LA County Department of Public Health’s Division of HIV & STD Programs and the University of Southern California’s Department of Preventive Medicine, this effort is funded by the Office of Adolescent Health.

Through school-based sexual health education, improved access to services, and community mobilization and partnership, we work to support youth and the adults who care for them (educators, parents, health care providers) to make healthier choices for their sexual health.

Our goal is to change the landscape of sexual health in Los Angeles County, replacing negative outcomes with a culture of empowerment for more informed, confident and healthy youth.

KIR-T at-a-glance:

 

Who We Are

KIR-T works to prevent unintended pregnancy and STDs among Los Angeles County youth. Our staff include:

  • Co-Project Director: Luanne Rohrbach, PhD, MPH
  • Co-Project Director: Kristin Meyer, PhD, MA
  • Program Manager: Elena Hoeppner, MPH, CHES
  • School Based Programs Specialist: Erin Hart, MPH, MS
  • Project Administrator: Steve Martinez
  • Alternative High School Lead: Suri Mijares, MSPA
  • Special Projects Lead: Stephanie Bailey
  • School Liaisons:
    • Anna Wohl
    • Christine Cortez, MPH
    • Karli Santos, MSW
  • Data Team
    • Data Manager: Bret Moulton, MPH
    • Assistant Data Manager: Patrick Leon, MPH
    • Data Assistant: Constance Lau

Partners

Our programs are only possible through our thoughtfully cultivated partnerships. From the educators on the front lines who implement our curriculum, to the community health clinics that serve our youth, to the county agencies that provide stability and access to resources, our commitment to collaboration allows us unprecedented and unrivaled influence on the sexual health of Los Angeles County youth.

Our Partners:

 

LAUSD

 

History & Successes

KIR-T has over 14 years of experience providing support to health service providers in Los Angeles County schools and communities.

Project Connect (2002-2010)

Funded through the Centers for Disease Control, this eight-year project was a school-based intervention that targeted parents, schools, communities and healthcare providers. KIR-T continues to promote the two most successful programs under Project Connect: the Condom Availability Program and the Provider Guide.

  • Condom Availability Program – Supports free condom distribution at high schools in CUSD and LAUSD through program enhancement and operational support.
  • Provider Guide – Enables school nurses and staff to link students to reproductive health care at adolescent-appropriate clinics.

 

Keeping It Real LAC (2010-2015)

Funded through the Office of Adolescent Health, Keeping It Real LAC (KIR) trained 7th and 8th grade teachers in 24 CUSD and LAUSD middle schools in the evidence-based, abstinence-plus curriculum It’s Your Game…Keep It Real!© (IYG). KIR demonstrated that, with appropriate training and support, middle school teachers are capable of delivering evidence-based sexual health education that impacts student risk behaviors. The success of KIR and the growing demand for the IYG curriculum provided powerful evidence of its fit in Los Angeles, and paved the way for KIR-T.

 

Additional projects and collaborations that KIR-T supports:

  • The Pocket Guide – A referral tool that helps youth seek out sexual health services in South Los Angeles. This guide was designed in collaboration with the community coalition, WeCanStopSTDsLA and guided by the Community Advisory Coalition. This youth-friendly guide identifies:
    • Where to access adolescent-appropriate reproductive health services.
    • How to make an appointment.
    • What to expect at an appointment.
  •  DASH Collaboration – A five-year initiative with the California Department of Education to improve adolescent health through strengthening school-based HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention education. Activities include reviewing school policies, coordinating the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, and developing school health advisory councils.

Publications & Presentations

KIR-T disseminates information about project outcomes, project evaluation, and lessons learned by presenting at conferences and publishing findings. Below are select presentations and publications related to the successes and experiences of implementing evidence-based, sexual health curricula in Los Angeles County.

 

  • Donatello RA, De Rosa CJ, Moulton BD, Chung EQ, Viola R, Rohrbach L, Afifi A (2016). Patterns of Sexual Experience Among Urban Latino and African American Ninth Grade Students. The Journal of Sex Research, DOI: 1080/00224499.2016.1164800
  • Moulton BD, De Rosa CJ, Donatello RA, Viola R, Chung EQ, Rohrbach L. Evaluating the Real-World Effectiveness of an Evidence-Based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Curriculum. Oral Presentation at the 2016 LACDPH Science Summit, Los Angeles, March 30, 2016.
  • The Classroom Teacher as Health Educator: Implementation of “It’s Your Game – Keep it Real” in Los Angeles Middle Schools. Oral Presentation at the 2014 Health Education Practice Conference, October 21, 2014, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Sexual Identity and Associated Factors Among an Ethnically Diverse Sample of 9th Grade Public School Students. Poster presentation at the Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting. March 19-22nd, 2014 Austin, TX.
  • The Success of Implementing an Evidence-Based Sexual Health Education in Middle School Science. Oral Presentation at the 2014 National Science Teachers Association Conference. December 4-6, 2014, Long Beach, CA.

 

These publications were made possible by Grant Number TP1AH000079-03-00 & Grant Number TP1AH000113 from the HHS Office of Adolescent Health. Contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services or the Office of Adolescent Health.