Before you read our latest report, we want to let you know that this Wednesday is Bonus Day at GlobalGiving! Please consider donating on July 15 to multiply your money for CCI-TAYA. Thanks!
For Elsa, CCI-TAYA’s Outreach Coordinator, today is just another day at work. Elsa is at a local high school to give a presentation on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Some of the students in front of her look concerned, but most act like they couldn’t care less. “Why are you here?” shouts out a boy near the back row. His friend, laughing, joins in, “Yeah, do you think we all have AIDS?”
Elsa shakes her head and smiles as the class laughs, but she doesn’t ignore the disruption. “I hope that you never have AIDS, or any other STI,” she tells the class. “That’s why I’m here.” She begins by giving the students the ‘ground rules’ for the session. “First is the Vegas rule,” Elsa begins. “You’ve all heard that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? Well, when it comes to personal stuff, what happens in this class stays in this class. This is a safe place.” However, when it comes to essential information about STI prevention, Elsa encourages the students to share the information as much as possible.
After she goes over the rest of the rules about respect and participation, Elsa starts passing out blank cards to everyone in the room. “Now, go around the room, introduce yourself to your classmates, and write their names down on your card.” She joins the group, shaking hands and learning names, then returns to the front of the room as the students return to their seats. “Ok, everyone with my name on your card, please stand up,” Elsa says. A handful of students stand. “For the purpose of this demo, we’re going to say that I have an STI, and I passed it to all of you.” Snickers and giggles spread through the room. “Now, look at the people standing,” Elsa goes on. “If one of their names is on your card, you stand up.” By the end of the ‘chain of infection,’ the majority of the class is STI-positive.
Fifteen to twenty-four year olds only represent a quarter of the sexually active population in the U.S., but they account for almost half of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs each year, the Guttmacher Institute reports. Though giving a presentation about STI infections is just a typical day for Elsa, it can be a life-changing day for a student. “So many young people believe, ‘it’s not gonna be me’ when it comes to STIs,” Elsa says. “But STIs don’t discriminate. I love being able to change [students’] perspective so that they can take action to protect their health.” Even some of her most withdrawn classes write in post-class surveys about the presentations’ powerful impact on them.
In 2014, CCI-TAYA gave presentations to 1,500 teens, many of whom turn education into action by coming to one of our clinic locations. We want all of our patients to have the reproductive health services they need, even if they can’t pay for them. That’s where you come in. For no more than the cost of taking a friend out to dinner, you can give a student in need the ability to protect his or her health by getting tested for STIs.
Thank you for your support. It means the world to us and to our patients. Please consider donating to our project this Wednesday, July 15, when GlobalGiving will match your gifts with Bonus funds!
There is a movement across the country to have medical providers ask their patients the one key question - "Would you like to become pregnant in the next year?" This seemingly simple question is rarely asked so directly, yet opens up a world of possibilities for women to take control of their reproductive health. At CCI-TAYA, this one key question helped us to support over 3,000 women last year in their efforts to put into action the prevention of unintended pregnancies, and the planning of healthy pregnancies.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, over 50% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. In their most recent report, they cited Maryland as one of the three states with the highest unintended pregnancy rates in the U.S. While much attention is focused on the public cost of unintended pregnancy ($21 billion), at the local and individual level we see first-hand the personal costs that an unintended pregnancy can bring to a young person who would have answered "no" to that one key question. Located in one of the most densely populated areas of the state of Maryland, CCI is committed to providing our patients with access to the best reproductive healthcare so that whether they answer “yes” or “no” they are in control of their current and future path.
This spring, Community Clinic Inc. (CCI) is successfully expanding Title X family planning services into all of our primary care health center locations. This means that our medical providers are not only asking this one key question, but will now have the educational and birth control resources available on-site to help women put their reproductive life plans into action in all 8 locations.
Please help support a young woman put her reproductive life plan into action! Just $120 will give one woman a year's worth of birth control, while $500 will provide one young woman with up to 10 years of planned pregnancy prevention.
Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) - IUDs and hormonal implants - are now widely accepted as the first and best option for preventing unplanned pregnancies. Since the last report, the American Academy of Pediatrics released guidance reccomending that pediatricians speak with their teenage patients about LARCs as the preferred method of contraception for their age group.
These contraceptive devices are long-lasting, safe and extremely effective (99.5%), which means that we offer young people the opportunity to truly take control of their reproductive life plan. Just think, a teenager has the opportunity to choose one of these methods their senior year in high school and stay protected from an unplanned pregnancy throughout their entire time at college and beyond. Given that less than half of teen parents graduate from high school and only 3% have received a college degree by age 30, the investment in helping teens access LARCs is a strong investment in young womens' futures.
CCI-TAYA has been ahead of the game working for years to give young women access to LARCs. Through family planning services provided throughout CCI last year, over 450 women now use LARCs as their primary method of birth control.This last year alone, CCI-TAYA saw in-clinic usage rates of LARCs at nearly 15% for teenagers and 19% for those ages 20-24. CCI-TAYA's LARC usage rates are well above the national averages for these age groups due to our committment to quality care that offers patients the most effective methods first; gives them clear information about all of their choices; and removes financial barriers to choosing these methods.
Despite our renewed efforts with this year's ACA open-enrollment, CCI-TAYA's clinic population still remains at above 80% uninsured and confidential youth. This means that without the generous support of individuals and foundations, our patients would not be able to afford these highly-effective, expensive ($500+) birth control methods.
During this time of thanks giving, we are grateful for all you have done to help CCI-TAYA patients receive their first and best choice for birth control at no and low cost. We hope that during the time of giving that is approaching you will renew your donation and commitment to helping young women access this birth control that opens up a world of opportunity for their future!
We are five months into the merge with CCI, and CCI-TAYA is going strong! Since joining forces in February, CCI’s family planning health centers have provided over 2,500 patient visits, serving nearly 2,000 unique patients. During this same time, our strengthened Education and Outreach services have reached over 2,000 people in the community with needed reproductive health information and education.
With more CCI family planning health center locations throughout the DC metropolitan area, teens and young adults now have more potential points of entry to be able to receive youth-friendly, comprehensive, affordable and bilingual reproductive healthcare.
With yet more evidence coming out from the state of Colorado that expanded access to the most effective contraception (IUDs and Hormonal Implants) in an affordable manner can have an immediate and dramatic impact on rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions, our expansion efforts are even more important (http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/46e1714.html). CCI’s family planning health centers and education and outreach efforts are focused on increasing the rates of young people using these methods of birth control to be able to complete their social, emotional and educational goals in the long term. Of the patients seen since TAYA merged into CCI, nearly 350 chose to have IUDs or implants inserted at low or no cost to them to give them the best chance of avoiding an unplanned pregnancy for 3-10 years.
We hope that you can continue to help us offer these expensive ($300-$500), yet effective, birth control options to our patients at low or no cost so that cost is not a barrier to the best care for them! Please keep help supporting our efforts to get the word out in the community and in our health centers!
Since the last report, Teen And Young Adult Health Connection (TAYA), has gone under a major change. On February 1, 2014, TAYA merged with Community Clinic Inc (CCI), a local Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
As part of TAYA’s 3 year strategic plan focused on the changing healthcare environment, Board members and TAYA leadership undertook a process of exploration with key stakeholders in the community in order to determine what would be the best operating model for us moving forward. The conclusion of this process was a determination that the most viable option for sustainability of TAYA's services and mission in the changing healthcare environment was pursuing a strategic alliance with another organization. TAYA’s Board and leadership took great care to pursue a strategic alliance with an organization in such a way that we could guarantee continued accessible, affordable, comprehensive and confidential reproductive health services to the young people we work with.
While TAYA no longer exist as its’ own separate legal entity, the TAYA space and our committed staff continue on as part of CCI known as CCI-TAYA. TAYA’s same excellent services and population focus remain the same. With this merge, CCI-TAYA also now has the opportunity to reach more young women and provide them with the same level of accessible, affordable and comprehensive care in more locations. Staff from the CCI-TAYA location are working in collaboration with CCI's existing family planning clinic located in Greenbelt, Maryland to ensure that both locations are most effectively serving the reproductive health needs of those in the community. Additionally, CCI-TAYA staff is working to incorporate family planning services into all of CCI's clinic locations that serve over 20,000 people annually.
Combined the CCI-TAYA and CCI-Greenbelt health center locations reached over 4,000 women last year. As we go on this new journey together, we hope we can continue to count on your support to help all of the young women served at the CCI locations throughout the Washington, DC metro area to reach their reproductive health goals!
You can find out more at: www.cciweb.org and www.tayahealth.org
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http://www.cciweb.org and www.tayahealth.org