Annual Connection Session

Connecting adolescent health professionals

AHI’s Connection Sessions

The Adolescent Health Initiative is proud to host their annual Connection Session for leaders in the field of adolescent health. Connection Sessions are day-long conferences that focus on one specific topic in adolescent health. These professional development opportunities aim to connect health professionals to community resources and others in the field. 

Check out what 2019 Connection Session attendees had to say about the event:

Past Connection Sessions


2020 Connection Session: Practicing Adolescent-Centered Trauma-Informed Care in a Clinical Setting

AHI’s Fifth Annual Connection Session, Practicing Adolescent-Centered Trauma-Informed Care in a Clinical Setting, was held virtually on Tuesday, October 6.

The 2020 Connection Session was designed for an audience of interdisciplinary health care professionals who serve adolescents, including physicians, nurses, social workers, health center managers, and other youth-serving community professionals. Speakers also represented multiple disciplines, each sharing strategies to paint a fuller picture about what it means to be trauma-informed with adolescent patients. The event was co-planned with youth representatives working to ensure that young people’s perspectives were centered in the work.

In the coming weeks, AHI will be sharing recordings of the sessions offered at the event, and an online training module to support learning around adolescent-centered trauma-informed care in a clinical setting.

2019 Connection Session: Navigating Michigan’s Legalization of Recreational Marijuana Use

The 2019 Connection Session convened over 100 health care professionals to tackle complex issues related to Michigan’s new legalization of recreational marijuana. The full day conference sparked interdisciplinary dialogue in the effort to address attitudes, health education and intervention approaches towards youth marijuana use. Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, a leading specialist in adolescent medicine, joined us from the University of Washington in Seattle to begin the day with a powerful keynote address on marijuana use and its impacts on adolescent brain development. Moving from research into practice, Carrie Bourque (U-M) shared motivational interviewing strategies which target motivation and behavior change approaches for adolescent marijuana use. Youth perspectives were woven throughout the day, culminating in a reflective and thought-provoking panel discussion. Participants of the Connection Session demonstrated increased knowledge and understanding around marijuana bias, research, laws and regulations, and practice to holistically serve the youth they work with every day.

2018 Connection Session: Identifying Trafficked Youth in Health Care Settings

The 2018 Connection Session featured informative perspectives from the field and interactive, case-based activities focusing on identifying trafficked youth in health care settings. At the end of this session, participants came away with replicable training tools and strategies for screening, identifying, and supporting trafficked and sexually exploited youth. As a result of this training, 92% of participants intended to change or improve their practice. Following the training, attendees reported a 45% increase in ability to identify signs of human trafficking among adolescents and young adults, and a 64% increase in feeling prepared to train their colleagues on identifying victims and supporting trafficked youth.

2017 Connection Session: Addressing and Preventing Adolescent Substance Use

The 2017 Connection session focused on addressing and preventing substance use in adolescents. This event featured an informative keynote address by Dr. John Hopper of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, interactive round table discussions, and an insightful youth panel. 

2016 Connection Session work groups

2016 Connection Session: He, She, They and Zie: Patient-Centered Care for Transgender Adolescents

AHI’s first connection session in 2016 addressed patient-centered care for transgender adolescents and young adults. Attendees engaged in an informative youth panel, robust round-table discussions, and community resource sharing.