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Current Research

Adolescent BehaviorsThe focus of our research in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Golisano Children’s Hospital is to study the phenomena of adolescent health and healthcare services for young adults. Our patients range from 12 to 25 years of age and our research often has implications for patients beyond that range since we study the delivery mechanisms of health services to young adults and the transition to adult care.

We provide our faculty and fellows with mentorship and resources to aid in their research and to help them achieve their goals in their academic endeavors.

Utilizing sophisticated qualitative and quantitative research methods, faculty and fellows conduct a number of clinical studies. Through our research we hope to achieve the following goals.

  • Encourage healthy preventive behaviors and overall medical treatment of adolescents.
  • Address the risk associated with “teenage” environments and behaviors.
  • Improve the quality of life for teens and young adults with chronic diseases.
  • Promote the healthy development of teenagers especially those with special needs, and move them safely and effectively into adult care providers and systems.

Areas of Research

  • Biopsychosocial Health Factors
  • Brain Development
  • Cultural Sensitivity and Competency in Medicine
  • Eating Disorders
  • Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)
  • Palliative Care and Bereavement
  • Risky Behaviors
  • Transitioning Care of Adolescents to Adult Providers

Current Studies, Projects & Programs

Smiling Teens

Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth

ACT for Youth is an innovative New York State Department of Health initiative that encourages development of resources for teens and parents at the community level. The Division of Adolescent Medicine, brings more than 40 years of experience in providing community-oriented care to adolescents and their families. As an ACT for Youth Center of Excellence partner, our role is to bring expertise in adolescent health and development, sexual health, preventive care, program evaluation, and to link public health with positive youth development.

Transitioning Teens From Pediatric to Adult Healthcare

The transition of care from pediatric to adult healthcare services is essential to ensure continuity of age-appropriate healthcare for young adults. This study provides a national overview of transition among young adults and suggests that having a chronic disease or inadequate health insurance delays the transition of care into the adult healthcare system.
Study Team: Fortuna RJ, Halterman JS, Pulcino T, Robbins BW.

Pediatric Subspecialists' Knowledge and Behaviors Regarding Adolescent Contraception

Susan M. "Shellie" Yussman, M.D., M.P.H. is studying pediatric subspecialists’ self-reported knowledge and comfort with prescription of and referral for contraceptives. Major medical entities recommend long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) as the primary method to prevent pregnancy in teens, yet many teens and specialists lack knowledge about LARC. 70% of subspecialists report little to no knowledge of LARC methods. Teens who see subspecialists often have chronic illnesses and can be at medical risk if they become pregnant. Efforts to increase referrals to primary care or adolescent medicine for contraceptive counseling and prescription of the most effective contraceptive methods appears to be indicated.
Susan M. "Shellie" Yussman, M.D., M.P.H. presented at the SAHM 2015 Annual Meeting.

  • Also listen to WXXI News Connections: Talking to Kids about Sex with Shellie Yussman, M.D., M.P.H., and Kim Urbach, N.P., assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and director of health centers at East High School and Frederick Douglass Campus.

Community Initiative to Raise Awareness About Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC)

Katherine Blumoff Greenberg, M.D. is supported by the Greater Rochester LARC Initiative which is a community partnership between the Hoekelman Center, Highland Family Planning, Metro Council for Teen Potential, and Planned Parenthood. This project aims to reduce unintended teen pregnancy by providing education on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to adults who work with youth in community and health care settings. The LARC Initiative educates community leaders and providers on the safety, efficacy, and availability of LARC for teens in Rochester.
This project is funded by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

Online Pain Education for Clinical Students

The Institute of Medicine and numerous other organizations and agencies have identified over-prescription of narcotic analgesics as a major problem in the adequate and appropriate management of pain syndromes. The Pain Consortium of the NIH has funded the "Rochester Area Collaborative Center of Excellence for Pain Education" to develop online educational materials for an interprofessional audience of preclinical and early clinical healthcare students. The teaching modules will be tested in classroom settings in allopathic medicine, nursing, pharmacy, chiropractic, and traditional Chinese medicine.
Olle Jane Z. Sahler, M.D. is the Principal Investigator/Project Manager of this educational effort.

Identifying Primary Care Providers' Continuing Education (CE) Needs to Improve Their Care of Adolescents

" 'Aside from needing more time with my patients…?' What providers identify they need to improve their care of their adolescent patients" is a study that includes key informant interviews and a quantitative survey of PCPs to ascertain what PCPs perceive to be their continuing education (CE) needs. The goal is to design CE materials to meet those needs.
Taylor B. Starr, D.O., M.P.H. presented at the SAHM 2015 Annual Meeting.

Fellowship Research

View research projects of current and past fellows.