Supporting contraceptive access in North Carolina during COVID-19
By Nicole McKinney
Here at Upstream, we are amazed at the phenomenal work being done by our partners and healthcare workers every day. As we watch our partners face unprecedented challenges in the wake of COVID-19, your unwavering commitment to patients and to our communities have left us in absolute awe. On behalf of the entire Upstream NC team, I want to say thank you to every healthcare worker on the frontlines. We stand with you.
Upstream is working with our partners and meeting them where they are to ensure that the contraceptive “lights stay on” during these difficult times. We’re taking full advantage of the expertise we have within Upstream and taking the feedback we hear from agencies to support this effort.
We are grateful that agencies are continuing with the Upstream program, including Cabarrus Health Alliance, who in a virtual meeting stated:
“With everything going on with COVID-19 and limits to how we normally do family planning, we will need Upstream’s services now more than ever. It’s good to know that Upstream has come up with alternative ways to continue the staff coaching and quality improvement that includes virtual options.” – Suzanne Knight, MPH, BSN, RN, Clinical Director
The patients of North Carolina need equitable access to the full range of birth control methods more than ever. We’ll work with you to help make that possible.
Our work is changing, but our commitment is not. We remain accessible, and we are eager to be a resource and partner. We will work with your team to make the next steps virtual and customized to your needs.
Upstream’s COVID-19 Resource Page
Upstream has launched a webpage for health centers with the latest information regarding contraceptive care during COVID-19. To date, this includes:
In the past three months we have secured eight additional partnership agreements bringing us to a total of 17 partner agencies in North Carolina! While how we may work with agencies may change, we remain more committed than ever to help patients get the contraceptive access they need.
In the month of March, we released our reproductive justice statement. Now more than ever it’s important for us to be mindful of communities who are often overlooked or discriminated against. We aim to be supportive and in solidarity with Reproductive Justice organizations and will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure our materials continue to be in line with what we stand for.
We’re excited to welcome two new members of our Advisory Committee. Libby Lawson, M.Ed., RN, is the Clinical Quality Contractor for the North Carolina Community Health Care Association. Maggie Behm, a Junior Political Science major at Appalachian State University, joins our Advisory Committee as the first Patient Advocate for Upstream. As we navigate the waters of COVID-19, both of these women will play an extraordinary role in helping us complete our mission for patients here in North Carolina.
If we can support you in additional ways, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at NC@Upstream.org.