Youth Health Improvement Initiative (YHII)

BoyandBasketballinthesky250x180Since 2001, VCHIP has been working in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, the Department of Vermont Health Access, Financial Regulation and Health Care administration, The Vermont Health Plan, MVP Healthcare of Vermont and Blue Cross/Blue Shield, to support pediatric and family practices to improve preventive services delivery to youth ages 8-18, including those youth with Medicaid insurance. New to this partnership are the behavioral health plan Primarilink, bringing a renewed focus on substance abuse and mental health issues for youth in VT. Through this partnership, 69 practices statewide have been assisted in improving the quality of health care they provide. Practices receive training on quality improvement, health care topics specific to adolescence, and the use of risk behavior, and strength screening.

The project is currently focused on increasing annual well care visit rates for adolescents, improving adolescent depression screening rates and promoting a healthy weight..


  • Improve screening rates for risk behaviors and the developmental tasks of adolescents in pediatric and family medicine practices.
  • Coach practitioners to improve their office interventions and referral effectiveness.
  • Identify barriers and facilitators to participation in annual adolescent Well Care Visits to inform future quality improvement and collaborative efforts with stakeholders
  • Expand services for substance abuse and mental health issues for youth in Vermont


  • Trained and introduced strength-based assessment counseling to over 60 practices in Vermont.
  • Facilitated collaboration between trained practices, substance abuse, mental health, and the Student Assistance Program (SAP) providers through community meetings.
  • Increased rates of Chlamydia screening of sexually active patients from a baseline of 11.1% to 70% as well as increasing rates of immunization, weight assessment and counseling for nutrition and physical activity in a subset of 7 practices.
  • Hosted focus groups at area high schools and primary care practices to investigate barriers and facilitators to well care visits for adolescents.

Project Contact

Alyssa Consigli, RD, CSSD