Dear Family Planning Provider:

Welcome to this edition of the NYS COE Quarterly, which comes on the heels of the 2015 New York State Family Planning Provider Meeting. This meeting was dedicated to exploring education, outreach, and community engagement strategies; and how family planning providers can systematically and thoughtfully identify those populations most in need of sexual and reproductive health services, engage them into care, and keep them coming back.

Many best practice strategies were presented at this year’s Family Planning Provider Meeting, some of which are closely tied to influencing patient experience outcomes. “Patient experience” extends beyond patient satisfaction. Embedded within patient experience is: (1) a focus on individualized care, and (2) an engagement of clients so that they are partners in their health care across the care continuum. Following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many members of priority populations gained health insurance coverage and, as a result, now have more choices when accessing health care services. As the Title X network’s client counts decline in New York State and nationwide, it behooves an examination of the patient experience and what might lead clients to choose to access sexual and reproductive health care elsewhere. Also critical is an examination of how patient experience may contribute to persistent disparities in the use of effective and highly effective contraception by race/ethnicity in New York State, a gap that a growing body of literature suggests may be attributable to perceived racial and economic discrimination in the health care setting.

For this reason, the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) proposes that grant-funded family planning programs will administer a Patient Experience Survey to all clients who receive contraceptive services during a to-be-determined two-month period in 2016. The survey has been field-tested in other settings nationally and results are being analyzed. The survey is very brief and its completion by clients is voluntary. NYS DOH and the NYS COE anticipate conducting a Webinar in 2016 to more fully explain expectations regarding the survey, including the period of time during which they survey will be administered, how surveys will be collected, and the process for analyzing, sharing, and acting on the results.

NYS DOH and the New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (NYS COE) are excited to work with family planning providers to examine this critical topic in the coming months.

The NYS COE Team

updates from nys coe

At the 2015 Family Planning Provider Meeting Networking Reception, we asked… 
“What was your biggest takeaway from Day 1 of the 2015 Family Planning Provider Meeting?”

“A quote from Tom Klaus’ presentation really resonated with me: ‘Change happens at the speed of trust.’  This quote really encompasses a pivotal way of thinking about community mobilization, as well as enhancing our outreach so we can meet people where they are in order to establish trust.” 
Sarah Miller
Planned Parenthood of Nassau County
Hempstead, NY


Community Engagement as a Strategy for Reaching Priority Populations

A priority population of the Title X Family Planning Program is low-income women. In fact, the unintended pregnancy rate for females living below the federal poverty level (FPL) is greater than five times as high as that among women at or above 200% of the FPL. Despite this apparent need for services, Title X service utilization among low-income women in New York State and nationwide has decreased in recent years.

Studies indicate that women are using effective and highly effective contraception (i.e., long-acting reversible contraception, or LARC methods) at unprecedented rates, leading some public health officials to suggest that recent declines in Title X service utilization among low-income women are attributed to greater uptake of LARC methods and changes in reproductive health guidelines. At the same time, rates of unintended pregnancy in New York State and nationwide remain persistently high and continue to exceed those of other developed nations. There is no doubt that there are underserved populations who struggle to access the quality reproductive health services in communities served by New York State Department of Health’s family planning provider network. Read more...

Sexual and Reproductive Justice: A Framework for Improving Access to Care

The 2015 Title X National Grantee Meeting took place in Washington, DC, from August 18-20, and brought together Title X Grantee leaders from across the country to gain and share current information on the provision of high-quality family planning services. Particularly memorable was the Meeting’s Keynote Speaker, Dr. George Askew, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Family and Child Health at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). In line with the focus of the Meeting, “Improving Quality, Expanding Access, and Building Sustainability,” Dr. Askew’s presentation focused on the topic of sexual and reproductive justice and access to health care, and how a social justice framework can be used to shape and strengthen the work of family planning providers. Read more...

grantee spotlight

Interview with Victoria Vanhoesen From the Bureau of Women, Infant and Adolescent Health at the NYS DOH

What is your role within the New York State Comprehensive Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program?

I am the Data Manager for the New York State Family Planning Program within the Bureau of Women, Infant, and Adolescent Health. In this role, I am responsible for oversight of data processing, analysis, and evaluation for the Comprehensive Reproductive Health and Family Planning Program. I also compile performance measures, such as the use of effective contraception and outreach, to monitor and improve program performance. Additionally, I provide oversight and management for the Family Planning Annual Report (FPAR), and oversight of the Family Planning Program Data Management and Information System.
Click here to read the full interview.


Providing Quality Family Planning Services: Recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Office of Population Affairs outlines best practices in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services, with a focus on continuous quality improvement (CQI), of which a critical component is the patient experience. The patient perspective is an essential dimension of health care quality that has been linked to improved service utilization and treatment adherence. By collecting patient experience data, family planning providers can target improvement efforts, and, in turn, enhance their service delivery and expand utilization. Because of the New York State Department of Health family planning provider network’s upcoming focus on using patient experience data for CQI, the NYS COE decided to highlight some seminal article on the topic of patient experience in this quarter’s Research Corner: Read more...

Additionally, to support CQI efforts related to the patient experience, the Family Planning National Training Center has developed strategies, videos, and a toolkit. For more information, visit the Family Planning National Training Center: http://fpntc.org/training-and-resources/the-family-planning-patient-experience-skills-to-improve-every-visit

upcoming trainings and events

2015-2016 NYS COE Learning Collaborative

The New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (NYS COE) has convened the 2015-2016 Learning Collaborative for 11 highly motivated family planning providers that are ready to utilize the principles of performance management to examine and make improvements in the proportion of adolescents (12-19 year-olds) and young adults (aged 20-24 years) that they serve, with an emphasis on those adolescents and young adults with incomes at or below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL). This Learning Collaborative–which builds off the successes of the first two Learning Collaboratives in 2013 and 2014–is part of the New York State Department of Health’s (NYS DOH) broader quality strategy, which aims to foster a "culture of improvement" across all of its public health programs.

The specific aims of the 2015-2016 NYS COE Learning Collaborative are to:

1. Increase the proportion of adolescent clients, specifically clients served from the following age groups: under 15 years, 15-17 years, and 17-19 years.
2. Increase the proportion of clients served who are between 20 and 24 years.

Between 2011 and 2014, the proportion of clients who were served as part of NYS DOH’s Title X Family Planning Program and were under 20 years of age decreased by 15.3%; the proportion of clients aged 20 to 24 years decreased by 8.2%. During the same time frame, the number of young people in New York State did not change. This decline in the total proportion of adolescents and young adults served by NYS DOH’s Title X network is of concern given that (1) teens 15-19 years account for the highest proportion of pregnancies that are unintended—82%—and, (2) young women 20-24 years represent the largest total number of unintended pregnancies annually, and indicates an unmet need for sexual and reproductive health services.1

Selected agencies are coming together for three face-to-face learning sessions to increase the proportion of adolescents and young adults served, approaching the issue from multiple angles, considering how outreach, education, and community engagement strategies; steps in the delivery of care; and use of evidence-based and other best practices all contribute to overall performance.

Participating Agencies:

• Community Healthcare Network
• Family Planning of South Central New York
• Greene County Family Planning
• Harlem Hospital Center
• Kaleida Health
• Morris Heights Health Center
• Oswego County Opportunities
• Planned Parenthood Nassau County
• Planned Parenthood of Central & Western New York
• Planned Parenthood of the North Country New York
• Public Health Solutions

Learning Collaborative Face-To-Face Sessions:
Learning Session #1
October 27-28, 2015

Learning Session #2
January 26-27, 2016

Summative Congress
March 29-30, 2016

Radisson Hotel Albany (formerly known as the Holiday Inn Albany)
205 Wolf Road
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 458-7264

For more information on the 2015-2016 Learning Collaborative, please visit our website by clicking here.

1 Finer LB, Zolna MR. Shifts in intended and unintended pregnancies in the United States, 2001–2008. American Journal of Public Health, 2014; 104(S1):S43-8.


New York State Male Services Institute

Target Audience: Program administrators, clinicians, and health educators who would like to learn evidence-based and best practice strategies for engaging males into care and delivering Title X services to male clients. There will be separate tracks for each of these audiences, with continuing education credits available for the clinician track.

Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Hilton Garden Inn Troy
235 Hoosick Street
Troy, NY 12180

Note: A hotel room block at the government rate of $102 for a single occupancy room is available to Institute attendees.

To access the full calendar of future NYS COE in-person trainings and webinars, click here.