YouthCHAT Program

Illustration of a group of diverse young people with colorful dialog speech bubbles.

Welcome to YouthCHAT

Youth Council on Health and Teaching (YouthCHAT)

YouthCHAT is an innovative, youth-engaged approach for training current and future health care professionals who strive to provide developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive, trauma informed and strengths based adolescent health care services.

  • YouthCHAT Educators are adolescents and young adults representing diverse backgrounds and lived experience who are trained to act as simulated patients for adolescent health professional trainees.
  • YouthCHAT Educators develop “characters” who participate in simulated clinical interviews with pediatric medical residents, nursing students, and other interdisciplinary adolescent health professionals-in-training. Educators provide feedback to the trainees about their strengths as well as areas for growth in the clinical  interview simulation.
  • The primary goal of YouthCHAT is to help healthcare professionals hone their interviewing skills and improve their communication skills with adolescents and young adults. YouthCHAT Educators take pride in knowing that these interactions help future practitioners feel more comfortable with adolescent patients and ultimately provide better, more compassionate care to young people. 
Friendly group of multiethnic students embracing and smiling over yellow background

Program Manager
Lynn Bretl, MPP
Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health
Department of Pediatrics
University of Minnesota
717 Delaware Street SE, Suite 353
Minneapolis, MN 55414-2959
Phone: (612) 275-6690 


  • Train interdisciplinary adolescent health professionals to care for adolescents and young adults using a strengths-based, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive and affirming approach.  
  • Support professional development of adolescent and young adult YouthCHAT participants.
  • Cultivate a sense of community, support and agency among a diverse cohort of youth, with opportunities with reflection and to drive adolescent health research and professional education.