Plax, The SPOT recognized for commitment to adolescents

Katie Plax, MD, and The SPOT have received the Promising Practices Award for Promoting Adolescents’ Strengths from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Adolescent Health Partnership Project.

The award honors exemplary achievement on behalf of adolescents. Recipients are recognized for their innovative contributions to adolescent health in their community or state and for promoting a positive perception of youth.

Plax, associate professor of pediatrics, and The SPOT were one of five award recipients for 2011.

Plax also is the division director of Adolescent and Diagnostic Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and medical director of The SPOT (Supporting Opportunities with Teens), a one-stop, drop-in center for youth ages 13-24 in the Central West End that provides testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, health care and counseling, social support, prevention and case management services at no cost. The SPOT, now in its fourth year, teams with community partners that serve youth and local health departments to reach youth with a variety of needs. The SPOT team will launch the Creating Options and Choosing Health (COACH) project this year to better meet the needs of youth in foster care and to prevent teen pregnancy among these young women.

Plax also is medical adviser to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Advocacy and Outreach Department. She is heavily involved in advocacy for children’s health.