Texas Youth-Friendly Initiative Clinic Spotlight

The Texas Campaign is leading the Texas Youth-Friendly Initiative (TYFI), a grant-funded project delivered in collaboration with community and national partners.  The Adolescent Champion Model is an 18-month multifaceted intervention that addresses a health center’s environment, policies, and practices to ensure that all aspects of a visit to the health center are youth-centered. TYFI Project Director, J.R. Chester, interviewed Yaseen Maleki, from TRS Health, one of the five clinics in TYFI Cohort 4. Yaseen shared insight into their hardworking clinic.  

Tell us about your organization/program and the amazing youth you serve.

TRS Health provides primary and specialty care to all age groups. Our mission is to provide accessible healthcare to the underserved and underprivileged in Greater Houston. We strive to provide high quality, low cost patient-centered care.

What do you love most about providing medical care for young people?

A part of becoming a well-adjusted adult is to be able to make positive and healthy decisions. It is so rewarding to see young people learning and being empowered to make those decisions, and handling the difficult adult physical and social situations they encounter while they are still emotionally maturing.

Our young people are the key to a better future.  What we do now as physicians, providers, parents and caregivers will have an impact on our youth, and by nurturing and supporting them now, we are shaping and molding them for future generations to come.

Why did you choose to join the Texas Youth-Friendly Initiative (TYFI)?

We joined TYFI because we wanted to make sure we could provide the best care for our adolescent patients as they transition to adulthood. TYFI has helped us understand the physical, mental, emotional, and sexual changes adolescents go through and has provided efficient tools and policies we can incorporate into our clinic. We wanted to use TFYI as an opportunity for a new approach to minimizing risks to the health and wellbeing of our adolescent patients.

What has been your favorite part of the TYFI so far?

The Spark trainings and modules! We especially loved the module on brain development.  It is marvelous seeing the neuroendocrine changes and processes that influence adolescent behavior, and that impacts the way adolescents think and make decisions in the future as adults. The youth brain plasticity is just awesome. 

How do you foresee the young people whom you serve benefiting from your participation in the TYFI?

Engaging our young people during such critical years of their life will have far-reaching consequences for their future adult life.  During adolescence, the brain and body is rapidly transforming, and the experiences and interactions adolescents have can help shape the brain’s organization. By providing physical, mental, and emotional care that is tailored to those changes, we are nurturing their developing brain and making certain patterns of brain activity stronger.  This makes leaps in intellectual and emotional development possible during adolescence and the future.