Dear Family Planning Provider:

We are well into 2016 and the New York State Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services (NYS COE) Team is excited about its ongoing work with New York State Department of Health’s (NYS DOH) family planning providers to implement quality improvement initiatives geared towards identifying and engaging priority populations. The NYS COE Team continues to be impressed by providers’ refusal to shy away from challenging topics and commitment to finding innovative ways to meet community needs. This commitment has been evident in work with the 11 agencies participating in the 2015-2016 NYS Learning Collaborative.

Beginning in September of 2015, 11 highly-motivated agencies convened to explore how clinic systems, staff attitudes and beliefs, outreach and education, and referrals and linkages impact adolescents (aged 12-19 years) and young adults’ (aged 20-24 years) access to and use of services. Since this time, Improvement Teams have examined their data in new ways, implemented continuous quality improvement initiatives, and challenged staff to examine personal attitudes related to delivering sexual and reproductive health services to young people. It recently became evident that increasing adolescents and young adults served is a multifaceted undertaking—one that cannot be resolved simply by increasing outreach efforts or designing teen-friendly waiting rooms. Due to the complexity of this issue, the NYS COE and 11 participating agencies have committed to extend the Learning Collaborative through September 2016, an additional 6 months. The NYS COE Team looks forward to witnessing participating agencies’ determination to making lasting, meaningful changes to improve the health outcomes of adolescents and young adults in their communities.

As we look ahead, the NYS COE Team knows that family planning providers across New York State face challenges to meeting the needs of priority populations in light of limited resources and increasing demands. The NYS COE also recognizes that this community of family planning providers has been creative and engaged in ground-breaking work despite such challenges for more than 35 years. We are excited for the opportunity to continue working with your agencies as you provide quality family planning services to the women, men, and adolescents. We look forward to learning from your experiences and expertise, and sharing tools and resources that support the great work that you do.

Thank you for your continued partnership,
The NYS COE Team

updates from nys coe

The Plan C: Copper IUD as Emergency Contraception Implementation Guide is Here!

Every year, millions of women in the United States seek emergency contraceptive services. However, every day, women face challenges in accessing much-needed emergency contraception (EC) services to prevent unintended pregnancy. The copper IUD, in addition to being one of the most effective contraceptive methods available, is the most effective form of EC. While there is no doubt that offering the copper IUD to female clients seeking EC is a best practice, there are systems-level challenges to integrating this service into family planning settings. In response, the NYS COE has developed the Plan C: Copper IUD as Emergency Contraception Implementation Guide to support family planning providers to implement this best practice at their service sites. Read More...

The Evolving Role of the Family Planning Health Educator

Health Educators have played an integral role in the education and promotion of Title X services since the inception of the program. In light of the changing healthcare landscape, the role of the Title X Health Educator continues to be redefined to better meet the needs of the most vulnerable women and men. Leveraging the skills and knowledge of the Health Educator ensures that family planning programs not only provide quality education and counseling within clinical settings, but also maintain a meaningful presence in the community, reaching those at greatest risk for negative reproductive health outcomes. Read More...

The Intersection Between Zika Virus Disease and the Family Planning Provider

On February 1, 2016, the Zika virus disease received international attention when it was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Zika virus infection has been linked to microcephaly, a birth defect of the brain, in infants whose mothers were infected with the virus during the pregnancy. Along with this devastating birth defect, infants impacted by Zika virus disease are experiencing additional defects, including impaired hearing and diminished growth. Read More...

The NYS COE Convenes the Male Services Institute in Troy, NY

In 2014, males represented only 8.7% of unduplicated clients served by New York State Department of Health’s (NYS DOH) family planning provider network. There is no doubt that males play an integral role in family planning, though they make up a minority of clients served in New York State family planning settings.

On March 16, 2016, the NYS COE convened the Male Services Institute in Troy, NY, to address the unmet reproductive healthcare needs of men. The Male Services Institute brought together nationally recognized faculty, with the goal of enhancing the capacity of New York State family planning providers to increase the provision of and improve services delivered to male clients. Read More...

nys doh spotlight

Interview with Nicole Cunningham

What is your role with the New York State Comprehensive Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care Services Program?
I am a Health Program Administrator and one of the Family Program Managers.  In this role, I provide technical assistance and contract oversight for 23 sub-recipient agencies.  As part of the Family Planning Program Team, I collaborate with NYS Center of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services in the design and implementation of projects to improve performance of funded family planning programs. Click here to read the full interview.

provider spotlight

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County (formerly Kings County Hospital Center) was established in 1831, and remains a vital “safety net” hospital for the people of Brooklyn and New York City. Located in Central Brooklyn, Kings County is a Level I trauma center with extensive services, including inpatient and outpatient services, behavioral health, emergency services, and a wide range of specialty clinics.
The Family Planning Clinic at Kings County is the oldest in the NYC Health + Hospitals system. The clinic was started in 1958 at a time when contraceptive services were still banned in the city hospital system. Today, the Kings County Family Planning Practice provides a broad range of contraceptive methods, including pregnancy testing, and STI, and HIV counseling and testing, as well as breast and cervical cancer screening. Read More...

Research from the field

Pazol K, Whiteman MK, Folger SG, Kourtis AP, Marchbanks PA, Jamieson DJ (2015). Sporadic Contraceptive Use and Non-Use: Age-Specific Prevalence and Associated Factors.American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,212(3), 324.e1–324.e8.
Pazol, et al. conducted a study reviewing 2006-2010 National Survey of Family Growth data to identify age-group trends in consistent and sporadic contraceptive use. Results showed a decrease in contraceptive use across age groups. Read More...

Trussell J, Hassan F, Lowin J, Law A, Filonenko A (2015). Achieving cost-neutrality with long-acting reversible contraceptive methods. Contraception,91(1), 49–56.
Trussell et al. conducted a 5-year analysis of the cost of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) and short-term contraceptive methods, such as oral contraceptive, vaginal rings, contraceptive patches, and injections. Read More...

Unger CA (2014) Care of the transgender patient: the role of the gynecologist. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 210(1), 16 – 26.
Unger addresses the unique needs of transgender clients and examines the barriers to care that individuals in this population experience. The article reviews healthcare maintenance recommendations, common barriers to care, and the role that gynecologists play in providing care to transgender clients. Read More...

upcoming trainings and events

2016 New York State Family Planning Provider Meeting

Building on the NYS DOH’s Serving Priority Populations initiative, which aims to identify and engage vulnerable populations, the 2016 NYS Family Planning Provider meeting will explore the barriers that individuals at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) face when trying to access sexual and reproductive health services, and strategize ways to address the needs of this priority population. Read More...