2015 was an exciting year for the Reproductive Health Access Network! In the past twelve months, the Network grew from approximately 650 members across 35 states to 925 members in 41 states, Washington D.C., and Canada. To reflect the current reproductive health care landscape, in late 2014 we broadened the scope of the Network to include contraceptive and miscarriage care as well as abortion care, and expanded our membership beyond family physicians. As a result, other primary care providers such as nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and internists have brought their unique perspectives to the Network.
In the spring of 2015, pro-choice primary care physicians came together at Network meetings hosted to coincide with the annual conferences of the National Abortion Federation and the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine. In the fall, we partnered with the Midwest Access Project to host a Network gathering at Family Medicine Midwest, and brought together our Northeast Network members at the Family Medicine Education Consortium in Massachusetts. Our final gathering took place this November at the North American Forum on Family Planning, with 60 providers, medical students, and advocates in attendance.
Our regional Clusters are stronger than ever. In December of 2014, a new Cluster began meeting in Philadelphia, and this spring, members in Baltimore came together for the first time. Existing Clusters in Boston, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, and New York continued to meet, all engaging in various advocacy activities suited towards the needs of the Cluster members. For example, the Boston/Eastern Massachusetts Cluster advocated for a resolution supporting post-partum LARC coverage through MassHealth, and the New York City Cluster took on the CREATE curriculum. In 2016, we are partnering with TEACH and MAP to start Clusters on the West Coast and in Chicago; we are also working with local leaders in North Carolina, Maine, and Southwestern Ohio. If you are interested in joining a local Network Cluster, or even starting your own, please contact our Network Coordinator, Laura, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2015 was a very difficult year for reproductive health care providers and advocates, both individually and legislatively. Despite these barriers, our community has demonstrated that we are committed to offering comprehensive reproductive health care services to patients across the country. We will continue to face challenges in this upcoming election year. In this environment, it is so important for us to have spaces for collaboration, advocacy, and peer support. The Network is shaped by its membership, and we invite you to contact us with any needs, concerns, and ideas you may have.
If you are a provider and would like to sign up for the Reproductive Health Access Network, please visit our Network page.