On July 21, the Office of Population Affairs announced its Ensuring Access to Quality Family Planning Services grant awards to eight existing Title X grantees. Funding supports activities on a range of topics to support infrastructure and operational improvements, as well as outreach to new clients within Title X service areas. Among the awardees was New York State Department of Health, which was funded for Priority Area 5: Outreach to low-income men and women of reproductive age in need of family planning services. Through this special project, the New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (NYS COE) will be convening up to 12 family planning providers for a Learning Collaborative, based on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Breakthrough Series Model, focused on increasing the number and proportion of clients served with incomes at/below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This nine-month Learning Collaborative will commence in October 2016, and will build participating agencies’ skills and capacities to: identify community organizations and agencies that come into contact with priority populations; engage champions at identified community organizations and agencies; and engage other key leaders and stakeholders in the community, including cultivation of non-traditional partners.
In the spirit that there always is opportunity for improvement, the Learning Collaborative will be open to all family planning providers; however, the participation of agencies serving low-income individuals at rates below the statewide average of (62.2% in 2014) will be prioritized and is encouraged. The NYS COE is hosting an informational Webinar on Wednesday, August 24 at 10:00am to share more information about this unique opportunity, review the application process, and provide family planning providers with the opportunity to ask questions. Please keep an eye out for a Webinar alert and the 2016-2017 Learning Collaborative Application Package in the coming weeks.