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August 6, 2001

Center to tackle teen sex issues, challenges

By Holly Korschun


IEmory’s new Jane Fonda Center, funded through a $2 million gift from the actor to the School of Medi-cine, officially opened July 19 in a ceremony held at the Briarcliff Campus.

The goal of the new center is to advance scientific knowledge both locally and globally about infancy, childhood and adolescence, and to disseminate new information and strategies for risk reduction and healthy transitions to adulthood. In addition, Fonda’s gift will endow the Marion Howard Chair in Adolescent Reproductive Health in the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, named for a School of Medicine faculty member widely recognized for developing innovative sexuality-education programs for adolescents that have become national models.

“Through my work with the Georgia Campaign for Adoles-cent Pregnancy Prevention, I have identified gaps in services and professional training that impact children, adolescents and their families,” Fonda said. “I decided both to endow the Marion Howard Chair for Adolescent Reproductive Health and to create the Jane Fonda Center to address these gaps.”

“The Jane Fonda Center will train adolescent service providers to meet the challenges of working with today’s young people,” said Howard, associate professor of gynecology and obstetrics, who has been nominated to be the first holder of the chair established in her name. “However, to have a healthy teen, we need to have a healthy child, and Ms. Fonda wants to help parents meet the challenges of raising children in a changed society. She also is interested in equipping child-care providers with the knowledge and skills to support the total development of children during their infancy and early childhood.”

Fonda’s gift creates the Jane Fonda Fund in Adolescent Reproductive Health, which will support the development of the center. The center’s initial focus will be on developing and implementing training programs that will enable professionals to positively impact various stages of childhood and youth development, including adolescent reproductive health.

The Fonda Center builds on the actor’s previous support for state initiatives in adolescent reproductive health and stems from her longstanding interest in the prevention of teen pregnancy.

Last fall, Fonda contributed a lead gift of $1.3 million to the Grady Health System for its Teen Services Clinic. The clinic focuses on preventive education and counseling to help young people establish lifetime patterns of caring for their reproductive health.

The new center will have a synergistic relationship with the Grady Teen Services Program, which Howard previously directed. The expanded Teen Services Clinic is being relocated to new, teen-friendly space at Grady, where it will continue to provide education, counseling and medical services to teens. Knowledge developed at the Jane Fonda Center will be used to develop and enhance the Teen Services Program, and clinical experiences from the program will broaden the knowledge base of Fonda Center researchers and help devise more effective training programs.

The center also will spearhead research and evaluation of promising programs around the country.

“My goal for the center is to provide the very best training in the Southeast for professionals in the areas of early child development, adolescent reproductive health, and patient advocacy—most especially in the areas of violence and sexual abuse,” Fonda said. “We want to reach child-care workers, case managers in child protective services, teachers of sexuality education and people who need and want training in parenting skills.”

Michael Johns, executive vice president for health affairs, and Thomas Lawley, dean of the School of Medicine, presided over the July 19 ceremony.

“The Jane Fonda Center, along with the Grady Teen Services Program, presents an extraordinary opportunity to apply academic resources and expertise to important issues that influence, both positively and negatively, the health of young people,” Lawley said. “We are extremely grateful that Ms. Fonda has chosen to honor Emory with this generous and significant gift.”


Back to Emory Report August 6, 2001