In July of 2010, Valley Health released data from a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) that identified specific areas of concern in regards to the health of citizens in Valley Health’s service area. Gaps were identified and work groups were established to begin to strategize how the community could come together to address the concerns. The Family Developmental and Social Health (FDSH) Work Group was formed and subsequently the Youth Risk Behaviors (YRB) Subgroup was established to bring together community organizations and individuals specifically focused on youth in the Lord Fairfax Health District*.
The group determined that although there was good work being done by individuals and organizations to address the particular health needs of youth in our communities, there was no good means for sharing of information and resources. The idea of forming a network was developed, and the Youth Resource Alliance was formed.
In addition to the YRA serving as a venue for sharing information among professionals, the plan expanded for the alliance to also serve as a “clearing house” for individuals seeking more information about the resources available for youth. Eleven members of the Youth Risk Behaviors Subgroup formed the YRA Development Team with the tasks of launching the YRA Website, recruiting members, and conducting community based outreach events to share important risk prevention information.
In the spring of 2013, Northwestern Community Services was able to fund the development and maintenance of the website through a prevention grant received yearly from the Department of Behavior Health and Human Services. In addition to the original group of YRA members, youth-focused coalitions populated by various agency representatives throughout the region joined the effort to provide the community with a comprehensive and up-to-date list of youth resources. www.youthresourcealliance.org is the product of this collaborative effort.
*The Lord Fairfax Health District includes the Virginia counties of Clarke, Frederick, Warren, Shenandoah and Page, and the City of Winchester.