And September 26th marks World Contraception Day—an annual global campaign to improve awareness of modern contraception and to enable young people to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health. Be sure to follow @ican4all for new content and live discussions with partners like Embrace Sexual Wellness, Free Root Operation, and Calor Chicago all month long!
Clinical Update: CDC releases 2021 STI Treatment Guidelines
The updated guidelines include questions adopted from the PATH framework as part of the The Five “P”s: a guide to taking sexual health history. PATH questions discuss reproductive goals and are designed to be inclusive, non-judgmental, and non-stigmatizing. They support equity by centering personal autonomy in conversations about parenting, pregnancy, and sexual health.
ICAN!’s TRUER Care Resource Center includes additional about the PATH framework. PATH questions also serve as the basis for our birth control quiz, which helps patients to identify their contraceptive preferences prior to their appointment with a provider.
Over the past year, ICAN! has advocated for a model Family Planning State Plan Amendment (SPA) that would significantly expand coverage for contraceptive care for Illinoisans with few resources. On August 24th, Gov. Pritzker approved SB 967, a bill that ensures enactment of a Family Planning SPA which will enable an estimated 70,000 individuals to become eligible for coverage of contraceptive care and screenings related to reproductive well-being. This is a critical step toward ensuring that everyone in Illinois can decide if and when to be pregnant and parent.
We are grateful to the bill’s sponsors—Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and Representative Latoya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis)—and to our advocacy partners: Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, EverThrive Illinois, Illinois Primary Health Care Association, Ci3 at the University of Chicago, ACOG, and Cook County Health for all their hard work!
Collecting patient-reported experience metrics (PREM) is essential to measuring contraceptive care quality. ICAN!’s patient experience survey is based on the NQF-endorsed Patient-Centered Contraceptive Counseling survey (PCCC) and takes less than 1 minute to complete. Please be sure to ask your patients and clients to fill out the survey following their appointment! Their voices matter!
ICAN! Co-founder, Kai Tao, named Fund for New Leadership Fellow
ICAN! is proud to announce that our co-founder, Kai Tao, has been selected to join the Fund for New Leadership’s (FNL) inaugural Fellowship class. With the support of FNL, ICAN! will be able to expand upon our efforts to advance reproductive equity by improving the quality and coverage of contraceptive care in Illinois.
We are excited to announce that ICAN! has been awarded a one-year grant for approximately $250,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant is part of HRSA’s 2021 Emerging Issues in Maternal and Child Health Program.
With this grant, ICAN! will build the capacity of community health networks statewide to become Contraceptive Care Quality Hubs (Quality Hubs), delivering high-quality, person-centered contraceptive care within a primary care context.
Introducing…ICAN!’s newest team member!
Jordan Hatcher (she/her), MPH, joins ICAN! as our new Program Director. She brings a wealth of experience supporting family planning and reproductive health initiatives, including her recent work with the United Nations Foundation Family Planning 2020 initiative. Many of you will be meeting Jordan in the coming days and weeks; please join us in welcoming her to the team!
ICAN!’s new digital platform, www.ican4all.org, is live! While still a work-in-progress, our website makes it easy for patients to find inclusive, accessible, objective information about all birth control options and to connect with a Quality Hub providing patient-centered contraceptive care.
Our Find a Health Provider tool that allows users to search for Quality Hubs based on location, ages served, and insurance coverage status.
A quiz that helps users identify the birth control methods that will best meet their personal goals and preferences. Add this quiz to your website! Click here for instructions!
ICAN! Phone A Friend—a feature that allows users to schedule a time to chat with someone who can help answer any questions.
As part of our website launch, ICAN! introduced its TRUER Care Resource Center where health and social service providers can find:
ICAN!’s Foundational webinars which ground providers in key concepts related to Quality Family Planning and Reproductive Justice.
Curated trainings from leading reproductive health organizations, practitioners, and researchers to strengthen clinical knowledge and skills.
Training modules on how to optimize your health center’s billing and coding practices for contraceptive services.
As we celebrate Pride this month and consider how we can provide the best experience to LGBTQIA+ patients, it’s important to remember the value of establishing rapport and trust and using patients’ preferred name and pronouns when providing contraceptive counseling. These concepts and more are covered in ICAN!’s new TRUER Patient-Centered Care video. Please watch, share, and help TRUER Care become THE standard for contraceptive care delivery!
Metrics that Matter
ICAN! is committed to developing and sharing meaningful metrics to evaluate our collective success in improving access to TRUER contraceptive care. In the past weeks, we’ve begun testing some creative approaches to data entry and collection!
Patient-Reported Experience Metrics (PREM) are essential for quality improvement. To help collect patient experience feedback, each Quality Hub health center received white paper bags (pictured) that they’ll fill with condoms and other useful products and distribute to patients post-appointment. The QR code printed on the bag links to ICAN!’s patient experience survey, based on the NQF-endorsed Patient-Centered Contraceptive Counseling survey (PCCC).
Contraceptive encounters: ICAN! distributed candies with the Z30.09 ICD code printed on them to all Quality Hubs. Our goal is to provide fun ways to encourage staff to document this code for any patient visit where they provide general counseling and advice on contraception, which falls under “Encounter for contraceptive management”. Consistent coding will not only ensure we can accurately measure progress in improving access to care, but also will enable health centers to maximize reimbursement for services.
Family planning coverage
A win for Illinoisans! Senator Castro’s omnibus bill (SB 967) to address disparities in maternal mortality and support new mothers passed the Illinois General Assembly with full support (116 yes votes and 0 no votes)! Of particular importance to ICAN!, the bill directs HFS to seek federal approval of a State Plan Amendment (SPA) to expand coverage for family planning services that includes presumptive eligibility to individuals whose income is at or below 208% of the federal poverty level.
This is a critical step toward implementing a model Family Planning SPA in Illinois! To learn more about this policy and the inclusions that will enable expanded access to high quality contraceptive care for thousands of Illinoisans, please read ICAN!’s white paper, Advancing a Model Family Planning State Plan Amendment.
HB 135 allows qualified pharmacists to prescribe and dispense a 12-month supply of hormonal birth control beginning in January 2022. This measure passed the Illinois General Assembly and is awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature.
We are proud to spotlight 2 of our partner organizations! These exemplary community-based social service providers are committed to connecting their program participants to care at ICAN! Quality Hubs and to educating them about all forms of birth control and reproductive rights in Illinois.
New Moms supports young moms, 24 and under, experiencing poverty in Chicagoland to take powerful first steps toward mobility and family well-being.
Learn about what it means to be an official ICAN! Community Partner. Join ICAN!’s Director of Community Engagement, Dr. Toni M. Bond, and Community Engagement Manager, Angela Townsend on Tuesday, July 6th at 12 pm CT for an informational webinar.
This spring, ICAN! delivered our educational workshop, “Birth Control: the History, the Facts, and How to Get the Care You Deserve” to nearly 1,000 Chicago Public School students at Clemente, Prosser, and Lindblom high schools. This youth-friendly, informative, and engaging presentation shares evidenced-based information on all birth control methods and explains how to access patient-centered contraceptive care at low to no cost.
Chance to Choose: Expanding Contraceptive Access, Deep Dive with Laura Arnold, June 3, 2021 (podcast). This episode examines contraceptive equity, explores the barriers to giving women true birth control choice, and discusses potential policy solutions that could help close the gaps in access.
Why American Women Everywhere are Delaying Motherhood, New York Times, June 16, 2021. Over the past decade, as more women of all social classes have prioritized education and career, delaying childbearing has become a broad pattern among American women almost everywhere.
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ICAN! is a 5-year initiative to advance reproductive equity in illinois by partnering with community health centers to improve the quality and coverage of contraceptive care.
ICAN! represents the evolution of Junoe4Me — a digital birth control education nd connect-to-care platform which has connected Chicago-area users to high quality, no cost birth control since 2018. By embracing key learnings from this pilot, ICAN! seeks to create an Illinois where every person has the ability to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to be pregnant and parent.
After months of planning, we’ve assembled an all-star team of reproductive health and justice advocates and educators, community health practitioners, and experts in public health research and health care finance. We’ve established critical partnerships with you: the health care providers, community-based organizations, state agencies, and youth community advisors whose collaboration and insights will make our 2021 demonstration year a success.
Together we will:
Build the capacity of community health networks to serve as Contraceptive Care Quality Hubs where patient-centered contraceptive counseling and quality family planning services are delivered in the context of primary care.
Optimize a direct-to-consumer platform to provide inclusive, youth-informed comprehensive birth control information as well as direct access to in-person and telehealth care; and
Test innovative administrative and regulatory policies that will close the contraceptive coverage gap in illinois.
Build 20+ Contraceptive Care Quality Hubs that have the ability, demand, and capacity to meet patient’s needs for high quality contraceptive care
Connect 500,000 patients to person-centered contraceptive counseling.
Reduce the contraceptive coverage gap by 50% with 250,000 individuals previously uninsured for contraceptive care receiving high-quality care.
Ensure cost is not a barrier for people accessing contraceptive care at a Quality Hub.
Building Contraceptive Care Quality Hubs
ICAN! is partnering with 3 outstanding FQHCs to serve as Contraceptive Care Quality Hubs during our 2021 demonstration year:
Erie Family Health Centers provides high quality medical, dental, and behavioral healthcare to all in need, regardless of ability to pay. Erie delivers holistic care to approximately 82,000 patients annually through 7 primary care locations, a Teen Health Center, and 5 school-based health centers.
Near North Health Service Corporation provides medical services, social services, and nutrition education to 37,000 patients annually living in low-income communities on the north, west, and south sides of Chicago through 9 comprehensive health centers and 2 supplemental nutrition sites.
PCC Community Wellness Center works to improve health outcomes for medically underserved patients by providing high quality, affordable, and accessible primary care. PCC delivers care to nearly 50,000 patients annually through 13 health centers on Chicago’s west side and in the near west suburbs. PCC operates a freestanding birth center as well as a school-based health center at Steinmetz College Prep High School.
Over the next several months, all Quality Hub staff will have the opportunity to participate in two foundational webinars to ground them in the key principles of reproductive justice and quality family planning.
”Reproductive Justice Foundation and Applications,” delivered by Dr. Toni M. Bond, a founder of the reproductive justice movement.
”Modern, Patient-Centered Contraception,” delivered by Dr. Caroline Hoke, the Chief Clinical Officer at Erie Family Health Centers.
For more information about our work with Quality Hubs, click here!
The first meeting of ICAN!’s Community Advisory Board (CAB) was February 16th. The CAB is a diverse cohort of 20 local leaders, half of whom participate in a dedicated Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for individuals ages 16-24. They are charged with:
Guiding ICAN!’s digital development efforts, ensuring content and user experience are accessible, engaging, and actionable.
Educating peers on all birth control methods and driving potential users to the digital platform.
Producing and distributing digital and print consumer-facing assets.
Leveraging relationships with community-based organizations to establish referral pipelines for the digital platform and Quality Hubs.
Supporting Quality Hub development by reviewing and providing feedback on training materials and acting as secret shoppers to ensure care is youth-friendly and inclusive.
Providing feedback and testimony to ensure ICAN!-proposed policies address community needs.
Community-Based Organizations (CBOs)
We are int he process of identifying CBO partners serving clients of reproductive age in our Quality Hub neighborhoods to help connect patients to care. CBO staff will have the opportunity to participate in reproductive justice and quality family planning trainings.
To learn more about ICAN!’s work with CBOs click here.
Did you know that ICAN! provides informative, fun, and engaging birth control education workshops for adolescents and young adults?
We not only educate young people about all of their birth control options but can also directly connect them to youth-friendly contraceptive care at their local Quality Hub! If you work with or know of an organization that would be interested in bringing our workshop to young people, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cornerstone of ICAN!’s policy agenda is a model Family Planning State Plan Amendment informed by community partner insights as well as best practices in limited benefits packages beyond family planning coverage. We estimate that in the first year of implementation, the SPA would enable 70,000 low-resource individuals to become eligible for coverage that will include not only contraceptive services and supplies but also associated preventive screenings.
We are thrilled to be working with partners Planned Parenthood Illinois Action and EverThrive Illinois to advocate for this critical step in expanding equitable access to high quality contraceptive care. Stay tuned for progress updates and learn how to support successful implementation!
There is no better way to understand our impact than through he testimony of our patients!
”I had tried twice to get an IUD — once through my usual provider (which was too expensive) and once through insurance (which referred me to a gynecologist who disagreed with my choice to get an IUD, told me I was making a bad decision, and did not make me feel comfortable in the slightest). I gave up on trying to get the IUD for a few years, and then I saw Juno4Me referenced in a post on a women’s service industry Facebook group during the pandemic. I looked them up, and on top of the fact that they provided services for free (a definite plus since I was unemployed), the website and its description made me feel like my choice would not be discouraged and that its providers would be safe.
I initially was very nervous to make the appointment because of the thought of the actual procedure. However, from the moment they called me to follow up with my online submission, I had nothing but pleasant experiences. The woman who called to schedule my appointment was lovely and very knowledgeable. They gave reminders along the way. Most importantly, the doctors I dealt with were nice, professional, and made sure to give facts without judgement. Thought he procedure itself was painful, the doctor was very reassuring throughout and had a calming presence.
I felt so lucky to have found an organization that would help me get the birth control that I will likely use until I have children.”
Q: How old do you have to be to get birth control in Illinois without a parent’s permission?
The first person to respond to email@example.com with the subject line “trivia” and the correct answer will win a $10 e-gift card to Semicolon Bookstore!
In the News
As we cross the bridge from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, we honor Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey — enslaved women from plantations near Montgomery, Alabama who, without consent or anesthesia, were experimented on by Dr. J. Marion Sims, known as the “Father of Modern Gynecology”.
By contrast, Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey fell into history.
This year, Montgomery-based artists and activists will unveil a public monument that will memorialize Anarcha, Betsey, and Lucy as the “Mothers of Gynecology”. The goal is not only to tell these women’s stories, but also to “shine a light on ongoing racial disparities in the health care industry today.” We can only move forward with creating a more equitable reproductive health care system when we understand the truths about our past.
Visit https://www.anarchalucybetsey.org/ to learn more.