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Release Date: 06/17/2015
Pawtucket, RI – Dr. Susanna Magee is leading a group of 41 first and second-year medical students who are hoping to lower teen pregnancy rates in Central Falls.

Across Rhode Island, approximately one girl in 100 will give birth while she is between the ages of 15 and 19. But in Central Falls, that rate is quadruple the state average. 

Naomi Adjei MD’17 is working with four other Alpert medical students to create a better sex ed program for the city’s middle schoolers. Sex Ed by Brown Med, which debuted in the 2014-2015 school year, is a collaboration between Alpert Medical School, the Rhode Island Department of Education, and the Board of the Central Falls School District. Teams of medical students, after a comprehensive training program, taught sex ed classes to 168 seventh- and eighth-graders at Calcutt Middle School in Central Falls. 

The idea for Sex Ed by Brown Med was conceived in 2013 after Adjei listened to a speech on teenage pregnancy by Susanna Magee, MD, MPH, the director of the Maternal and Child Health at Memorial Hospital. Dr. Magee encouraged the students to get into the community and start working for change, and they did just that. 

With Dr. Magee serving as faculty advisor, the students designed a comprehensive sexual education curriculum using web-based, validated education modules. Topics include reproductive system anatomy, sexually transmitted infection, teenage pregnancy and parenthood, sexual decision making, abstinence, contraception, sexual violence, and gender identity. 

Preliminary surveys showed how knowledge increased among the seventh graders and teachers loved the program. 

Sex Ed by Brown Med hopes to show that the program not only increases students' knowledge, but also contributes to a decreased teen pregnancy rate in Central Falls. 

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About Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, serves as the major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and the chief site for the medical school's primary care academic program. Research focuses on primary care and disease prevention, including osteoarthritis, heart disease, cancer, pulmonary function, maternal and child health and women’s health issues.

Memorial provides health services for the people of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts including oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedics, rehabilitation, pain management, and diagnostics. Memorial offers primary care services in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Plainville, Massachusetts.