An "A+" for Plan "C" in Greene County: An Interview with Laura Churchill

laurachurchillThe NYS COE will host its first Webinar of 2015, The Copper IUD and Emergency Contraception: Best Practices and Strategies for Implementing "Plan C," on Wednesday, March 11, from 10:00am to 11:15am. The Webinar will cover the multiple benefits of using the Copper intrauterine device (IUD) as emergency contraception (EC), as well as operational and fiscal considerations for family planning programs implementing this cutting-edge evidence-based practice. Laura Churchill, MS, FNP-BC, the Program Administrator of Greene County Family Planning, will serve as faculty. In October 2013, Greene County Family Planning received a grant from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) to pilot the use of the Copper IUD as EC. The strategies put into place during this pilot, which coincided with Greene County Family Planning's participation in the NYS COE's 2013 Learning Collaborative, led to 24% of all female clients seeking EC choosing the Copper IUD. Additionally, Greene County Family Planning experienced a 54% increase in non-EC clients choosing the Copper IUD as their contraceptive method thanks to effective advertising strategies.

The Copper IUD is the most effective form of emergency contraception available.

  • If taken within five days of a woman's first unprotected sexual intercourse, the Copper IUD is 99.9% effective at preventing a pregnancy, as opposed to Plan B and Ulipristal, which have failure rates of 0.6-3.1% and 0.9-2.1%, respectively1
  • Family planning programs have an opportunity to support a woman who has experienced a contraceptive emergency with taking actionable steps to prevent future unintended pregnancy for up to 12 years
  • The Copper IUD is among the most effective forms of contraception, with a failure rate of 0.3-0.8%2

Laura Churchill describes this "Plan C" as a "game changer" for family planning programs because it fulfills the dual purpose of addressing a woman's contraceptive emergency and need for ongoing effective contraception, noting "It meets both needs--no ifs, ands, or buts."

Churchill identified the heaviest lift at her agency as adjusting work flow in order to insert IUDs on the same day. As advice for other family planning programs addressing this and other concerns, Churchill noted the importance of the following:

  • Building staff buy-in, from front-line staff to clinicians, through education
  • Maintaining a consistent message around Plan C as the "most effective method" of EC
  • Ensuring flexible scheduling to fit these same-day insertions into work flow
  • Utilizing the Family Planning Benefit Program (FPBP) whenever possible to reimburse for eligible clients

Most importantly, Churchill remarked, is to always reinforce to staff that this practice aligns with the mission of the Title X Program: "'Plan C' goes back to the core mission of what we're here for--to help individuals control the spacing and timing of their pregnancies."

To register for this training, go to:



1 Cleland K, et al., Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2014.
2 Trussell J. Contraceptive efficacy. In: Hatcher RA, Trussell J, Nelson AL, Cates W, Kowal D, Policar M. Contraceptive Technology: Twentieth Revised Edition. New York NY: Ardent Media, 2011.