The 2016 New York State (NYS) Family Planning Provider meeting was convened on June 15-16 in Albany, NY. The Meeting brought together 107 individuals from 49 New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) funded family planning agencies, NYS DOH, and other stakeholders to explore the unique barriers that individuals at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) encounter when attempting to navigate the healthcare system. Attendees and strategize systems-level changes to help remove or alleviate barriers to access.
The goals of the Provider Meeting were to support family planning program administrators and clinical leaders in: (1) recognizing the unique sexual and reproductive health care needs of priority populations; (2) examining the realities of New Yorkers living at or below the Federal poverty level; (3) exploring how clinic systems can create additional barriers to access for low-income individuals; and (4) identifying strategies family planning providers can utilize to identify, engage, and retain low-income women, men, and adolescent clients. The 1.5 day program included data updates from NYS DOH, as well as a discussion of best practices and recommendations from experts in the field.
One of the highlights of the meeting was a poverty simulation conducted by Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc. During this simulation, participants were tasked with navigating various community agencies, all while experiencing common challenges and barriers (such as limited transportation, funds, and competing priorities) that low-income individuals may experience on a daily basis.
Attendees had much to say about this to say and other experiences at the 2016 NYS Family Planning Provider Meeting:
Joycelyn Daly (Health and Hospitals - Harlem): “The poverty simulation really reminded me how important it is to approach our work every day with enthusiasm and compassion.”
Eva Rodriguez (Community Healthcare Network): “The poverty simulation really highlighted the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the barriers many of our clients are facing that we often lose sight of in the day to day.”
Laura Churchill (Greene County Family Planning): “The poverty simulation was really eye opening – working in the system, it’s often easy to forget what it’s like to be on the other side.”
Cheryl Lincoln-Lovely (Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson): “It was really great to have the opportunity to network with other agencies to get new innovative ideas that we can take back with us.”
To access the 2016 NYS Family Planning Provider Meeting program and presentation slides, please click here.