VT RAYS is a specialty youth group focused on adolescent and young adult public health issues, with a particular interest for improving access and utilization of preventive health services. Under the leadership of the Youth Health Improvement Initiative at the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program (VCHIP), and in partnership with the Health Department, the VT RAYS have the unique ability to connect with primary care practices throughout Vermont to help identify adolescent health priority areas, increase engagement, and improve quality of youth services. Additionally, VCHIP provides opportunities to bring the youth voice and perspective to other state partners and stakeholders, creating an impact at the policy level.
As we continue to strategize our impact and reach, we recognize opportunities to collaborate with other youth focused organizations interested in similar, youth empowered work. In the summer of 2021, we partnered with Vermont Afterschool to create the State Youth Advisory Group (SYAG) on Health Equity. This group of young people met to explore the inequalities and barriers in healthcare, after school activities, and mental healthcare, but also put together some recommendations for professionals in the field. These recommendations can be found in the Health Equity Report.