(Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)
By ETR | January 17, 2017
ETR’s condom holders have consistently been one of our most popular products. They have colorful designs on the outside and instructions for condom use on the inside. We’ve just introduced a new one designed to hold an internal or “female” condom.
That’s a WOW indeed! When first introduced, this style of condom seemed strange. They were expensive and some users complained about noises that were anything but sexy (“squeak,” “squish” or a sort of “phttt”).
Today’s FC2 is an improved revamp of the original.
By Laura Perkins, MLS | December 15, 2016
Product Editor, ETR
Thought about menstrual periods lately? Maybe, maybe not. But if you were a pre-menstrual kid, teetering on the edge of puberty, you'd probably be thinking about them a lot.
The start of menstruation is a major event during puberty. But the basics about periods aren't addressed with much clarity in the kinds of media kids typically use—television, movies, social media, music.
ETR is excited to announce the release of an updated and revised "Period Facts" pamphlet (available in English and Spanish).
By Vignetta Charles, PhD | December 8, 2016
Chief Science Officer, ETR
I love gratitude. I try to get a little of it into my life every day. Here’s why.
First, gratitude grounds me in something positive and constructive. It’s so easy to get mired in the details of our daily lives. Like a breath of fresh air, a break for gratitude can get me back into the moment.
Second, it helps me extend and expand my feelings, bringing them to the people and relationships around me. This is different from the thank you’s we might say for objects we’re given, or even things people do for us. Those are sort of transactional exchanges—you gave me this, I offer you thanks. For me, gratitude is more about the essence of a person: I am grateful for who you are, and the positive outcomes you bring to my life.
Third, gratitude is a pause. I have to stop for a moment to be grateful in these ways. That moment gives me clarity and presence.
ETR | October 27, 2016
Summed up in a word? Awesome.
The annual meetings of the American Public Health Association are one of the nation’s premiere professional events. This year, more than 12,000 attendees will be showing up in Denver October 29-November 2. They’ll present research, work on policy recommendations, learn new skills and network with colleagues from across the nation and around the world.
ETR’s team will be in the thick of it, offering presentations, hosting our booth in the Exhibit Hall (Booth 1314), and connecting with partners old and new. Look around for us, and here’s what you might see.
By ETR | August 8, 2016
For most of her life, Narinder Dhaliwal has been an enthusiastic advocate for tobacco control. “I watched my grandfather slowly kill himself by smoking one or two packs a day,” she explains.
Some of the effects left a strong impression on Narinder. “His fingers on both hands were stained yellow. His lips were close to black. He was always surrounded by the smell of stale tobacco.”
Her grandfather paid the highest possible price for smoking. “He worked his whole life at the Ford car factory. He finally retired at age 60. He never got to cash his first pension check. He died of a massive heart attack while on holiday in India. That check arrived after he died.”
It is no surprise that, after this experience, Narinder has brought a particular devotion to her work as Director of ETR’s Tobacco Education Clearinghouse (TECC).
By ETR | July 18, 2016
A dynamic group of ETR researchers and professional development specialists will be presenting posters and panels at the upcoming Office of Adolescent Health Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Conference. The conference takes place in Baltimore July 19-21. The theme is “Connecting the Dots: Collaborating to Achieve Lasting Impacts for Youth.” We’ll be posting here about some of their presentations over the coming days.
We hope you’ll keep an eye out for these posts. Even if your work isn’t specific to the field of adolescent sexual health, you’ll find insights and information useful for program developers, health education researchers, front line providers and people who design and deliver trainings.
The conference hashtag is #2016TPP. Check the LinkedIn Teen Pregnancy Prevention Networking Group to hear more about TPP and to connect with attendees.
By ETR | June 17, 2016
It’s summertime. That means the 2016 Kirby Summer Interns have joined ETR’s team. They’ll be contributing to some of the research we’re doing—gathering and analyzing data, and co-authoring an original contribution to the professional literature. We’re thrilled to have them on board!
Melissa Donze is pursuing an MPH program at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, emphasizing Health Promotion Research and Practice. Emily Waterman is a PhD student at Penn State in the Human Development and Family Studies department.
Both bring a wealth of understanding and experience to their internships, and we’re looking forward to a lively exchange of ideas while they’re here.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | April 7, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR
I’m one of the folks who genuinely looks forward to National Public Health Week (NPHW). I’m proud to call myself a public health nerd. I quote health statistics at dinner parties. I talk to the kids in my neighborhood about the importance of bicycle helmets and safety belts.
I’ve also got a background in mental health. Naturally, I was gratified to see President Obama bring attention to mental health in his Presidential Proclamation on NPHW. “We are striving to promote mental health as an essential component of overall health,” he states, “helping to ensure access to mental health care and services and working to prevent suicide.”
One of the most important things we can do in public health is end the stigma about depression.
By Daniel McCormick, MHA | February 29, 2016
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
ETR is a lucky nonprofit, for all kinds of reasons. One of them is embodied in the character of a single individual—Robert Keet, MD. This man has been a continuously active—and consistently dynamic—member of ETR’s Board for the past 35 years.
Think about that for a moment. What were you doing 35 years ago? How many of those things are you still doing today? With the same people or organization? Especially commitments that involve obligations such as weekend-long meetings where you review finance reports, business plans, performance data, legal issues and strategic goals?
Yes, it takes a special person to do this kind of voluntary work. And it takes an extraordinary person to do so for one organization over such a span of time.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | February 25, 2016
Senior Editor, ETR
ETR’s inaugural Kirby Summit has started. While it’s not entirely clear what’s going to come out of this two-day event, I am certain it’s going to be powerful and different.
The Summit honors Doug Kirby, one of the greatest researchers the field of sexual and reproductive health has ever seen. Doug was also a senior research scientist here at ETR before his untimely death in 2012, and a colleague and true friend to many of us.
Doug had an insatiable curiosity and a love of civil debate. He’d certainly approve of this Summit!
By Laura Perkins, MLS | February 18, 2016
Project Editor, ETR
The Hispanic/Latino community is disproportionately affected by HIV. In 2013, Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 21% of the estimated new diagnoses of HIV infection in the U.S., despite representing about 17% of the total population.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | January 25, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
One of my favorite things about ETR’s research staff is that everyone who is a part of the team is committed to mentorship. My colleagues understand that we cannot continue to advance the fields of health research and sexual and reproductive health without an effectively-trained cadre of new professionals joining our efforts.
ETR’s Kirby Summer Internship is the embodiment of that value. It is named after one of the premiere researchers in the field, Douglas Kirby, who, before his death in 2012, was a senior research scientist at ETR. Doug was also one of my favorite people ever. He would have fully approved of this internship program.
By ETR | December 22, 2015
Yes, indeed, 2016 is right around the corner. We've had a fine year with our blog and hope you've enjoyed our posts. ETR and the blog will be taking a break over the holidays. We'll be back in 2016 with more great content from ETR staff and our partners and colleagues in the field. We've got some wonderful posts coming up in January, so be sure to check back.
In the meantime, we wish you, your colleagues, families and communities, a joyous holiday.
By Erin McCarthy | December 18, 2015
National Public Health Sales Representative, ETR
Here’s one of the things I love about my job. Every day, I get to work with people who are passionate about using education to promote healthy behaviors in their communities.
Programs focusing on health and sexuality seek to empower individuals. They want to support healthy sexual choices that reduce sexual risks. The coordination of this work takes dedication, determination and a desire to see positive change. This pretty much sums up Syida Huggins-Richards’ approach to her work.
By Laura Perkins, MLS | December 4, 2015
Project Editor, ETR
PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for HIV means taking a combination pill to prevention transmission of the virus. The pill, brand name Truvada, has proved to be successful at protecting at-risk individuals. Trials evaluating PrEP among gay and bisexual men, heterosexual men and women, and injection drug users indicate that the risk of getting HIV decreased by up to 92% for participants who took the medicine consistently.
This is phenomenal!
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | November 24, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time we think of gratitude. This year, as we consider all that has happened and compare our circumstances to others on the world stage, we at ETR are indeed grateful—for personal health, for homes, for opportunities to be with our families.
We continue, through collaboration, inspiration and hard work to change the world in our small and peaceful ways. The opportunity to do so is something I am incredibly grateful for.
So yes, 2015 has been a difficult year in many respects. But it has also been a wonderful year for ETR, one filled with excellence, shared vision, partnership and collaboration. Here are some of the people and organizations we especially want to thank.
By ETR | October 27, 2015
ETR is proud to be offering two new resources on weight and fitness. If you’re offering support to clients or patients on these topics, we hope you’ll take a look.
Each is designed to be a compendium of the most vital information patients need, conveniently assembled in a single, trustworthy resource. The writing is clear and simple without being simplistic. The content has been written and reviewed by health education specialists and topic experts.
By ETR | September 24, 2015
We’ve just learned that ETR’s Alex Williams has been selected to receive the 2015 Dr. Mark Colomb Leadership Award from the Southern Regional Ball/House and Pageant Communities (B/HAP). We spoke with Alex about what receiving this award means to him, and why this type of work is so important. He told us:
This award recognizes a dual effort. First, it speaks to excellence in addressing HIV issues among the highest risk groups in communities of color.
Second, it specifically recognizes HIV efforts within the House and Ballroom community. This is a thriving subculture of the LGBT community which has been little known or recognized by people outside the culture. Historically, it’s also been marginalized and neglected by most HIV prevention programs.
By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | August 27, 2015
Senior Editor, ETR
Heard any good stories lately? Particularly about the work you do and the positive impact your organization has in the world?
Here at ETR, we’ve been thinking about these kinds of stories ever since we read Joan Singson’s blog post on Storytelling for Sustainability. We decided to do an all-staff activity where we explored some of the stories we have to tell about ETR’s work.
We had a couple of main goals. One was to emphasize that we are all evangelists for the cause. Every person on our staff has an opportunity to share these stories with family, friends, colleagues in the field, potential funders, future employees and many other people whose support for ETR could be important.
The other was to enrich our own organizational culture. The story I tell about an impact my team has had, and the pride we feel about it, belongs to everyone in the organization. If it’s a good story, others can tell it too. And the perfect opportunity—the partner, funder or interested member of the public who would love to hear this story—might come along at any time.
By Dan McCormick, MHA | August 3, 2015
Chief Executive Officer, ETR
This has been an exciting few days for ETR as an organization. We’ve officially teamed up with Select Media to become one organization. We’re looking forward to putting the resources of both organizations to work promoting healthy behaviors in communities across the nation.
Select Media has been a publisher and distributor of a number of the evidence-based programs on the list provided by the Office of Adolescent Health. Now, all of these resources will be available through ETR’s online store, along with the evidence-based programs ETR has been developing and distributing for more than three decades.
By ETR | July 23, 2015
We’re excited to introduce three new designs in our popular condom holder series. If you distribute condoms through your clinic or program, you can now wrap them up in a packet that promotes a great health message.
They make it clear that affirmative consent—yes means yes—is sexy!
They promote three smart steps to fabulous, safe sex: communication (check), consent (check), and condom (check).
And they encourage condom users to carry those jimmy hats with pride!
By Laura Perkins, MLS | July 9, 2015
Project Editor, ETR
Laws on the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. are changing rapidly. Since 1996, 23 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana to treat some medical conditions. A number of states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And now Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults over 21. The public health implications within this changing landscape are only just beginning to emerge.
By ETR | June 11, 2015
ETR extends an enthusiastic welcome to this year’s Kirby Summer Interns. Monica Sun and William Spatafora both hail from the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine at Tulane University. They will be spending the summer working directly with ETR researchers, gathering and analyzing data. Each will co-author a paper for submission to a professional journal.
By Annika Shore, MPH | June 1, 2015
Professional Development Consultant, ETR
Are you a trainer, professional development provider or sexuality educator? Do you deliver trainings for educators on evidence-based adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs (EBPs)? Then we’re looking for you!
ETR is offering it’s research-based Training of Trainers—Evidence-Based Programs this coming September 15–18. This training provides an opportunity for you to become skilled in delivering Trainings of Educators for one of these three programs: Draw the Line/Respect the Line (DTL/RTL), Reducing the Risk (RTR) or Becoming a Responsible Teen (BART).
The training will help you bring a new level of energy, understanding and skill to your work.
By ETR | May 22, 2015
Our partners at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts (PPLM) will be holding a regional Training of the Educator for the Get Real Middle School curriculum in Denver, Colorado. The two-day training is scheduled for July 31-August 1.