Mom Appointed President of Adolescent Sexual Health Organization

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The Board of Directors of the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (http://www.MOASH.org) recently announced the election of Barbara Flis as president. Flis, is a mother of two and the founder of Parent Action for Healthy Kids (http://www.parentactionforhealthykids.org). "The total cost to Michigan taxpayers with regard to teen childbearing, in Federal and state funds, was conservatively estimated at $302 million for 2004," said Flis. "Together, we must all take a vested interest to reduce these costs and empower young people in Michigan to make informed decisions on sexual health, pregnancy prevention and parenthood.”

For the first time in fourteen years the teen birth rate has increased. For this board to put at the helm a person representing the parent constituency, speaks volumes about the importance of working collaboratively to address this issue.

The Board of Directors of the Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (http://www.MOASH.org) recently announced the election of Barbara Flis as president. The aim of the non-governmental state-level 501(c)3 is to provide statewide leadership on evidence-based approaches to adolescent sexual health and pregnancy prevention. Flis, mother of two and founder of Parent Action for Healthy Kids (http://parentactionforhealthykids.org), joined the MOASH board as treasure in 2009. Flis’ responsibilities will begin in September.

“We are truly blessed to have Barb Flis as our new president,” said Cheryl Gibson Fountain, MD, FACOG-President Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan and MOASH Board Member. “Barb is an extremely kind, caring, compassionate person who is well known and respected for her tireless dedication and work on behalf of the children, families and communities in our state. I look forward to Barb's leadership as she continues to play a key role in shaping the manner in which we serve the needs of our adolescents.”

“I am honored to be elected President of MOASH”, said Flis. “Our board represents diverse organizations. For this board to put at the helm a person representing the parent constituency, speaks volumes about the importance of working collaboratively to address the issue of adolescent sexual health. For the first time in fourteen years the teen birth rate has increased. The total cost to Michigan taxpayers with regard to teen childbearing, in Federal and state funds, was conservatively estimated at $302 million for 2004. These public costs include lost tax revenue, health care, and child welfare costs. If we want to create a vibrant workforce and brighter future for Michigan’s youth, families, and the economy then we must all take a vested interest.    Together we can empower young people in Michigan to make informed decisions on sexual health, pregnancy prevention and parenthood.”

Flis has more than 15 years of experience advocating for children's health issues and working collaboratively with parents, schools and community in the arena of health, HIV and sexuality education. She is a nationally recognized expert, keynoting conferences for professionals working in school health, teen pregnancy prevention, and parent engagement arenas. Her work coordinating the Michigan Talk Early & Talk Often® program, designed to help parents gain knowledge and skills to talk to their middle school children about abstinence and sexuality, has been cited in national press including Newsweek. Her inspiration for this work comes from her grass-roots experience being "just a parent" in a suburban Detroit community.

MOASH, established in 2009, empowers young people in Michigan to make informed decisions on sexual health, pregnancy prevention and parenthood. Their Mission is to provide statewide leadership on adolescent sexual health, pregnancy prevention and parenting, through education, advocacy, capacity-building and creative partnerships. For more information send an email to info(at)moash(dot)org.

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