This month, RHAP is excited to highlight our newest Reproductive Health Access Network Cluster in Georgia, which met in June for the very first time. If you’re a clinician in the Atlanta area who would like to be connected with the Cluster, please email Laura Riker at email@example.com.
After moving to Atlanta from the Bay Area, Dr. Angeline Ti was looking for a community of like-minded providers and allies. “While we [Georgia] aren’t the most restrictive state, we do have our challenges, and finding a group of people who are interested in advocacy at some level was important to me.” Coming from an area where there was already a strong, organized group of reproductive health care providers and advocates, Dr. Ti was familiar with the Reproductive Health Access Network and the Cluster structure. After meeting Dr. Smith* another family physician and full-spectrum reproductive health care provider in Atlanta, they decided to work with RHAP and develop a new Cluster in the area.
In preparation for the first Georgia Cluster meeting, Dr. Ti and Dr. Smith reached out to their own personal networks and encouraged their contacts to do the same. “When other people heard about what we were trying to do, they reached out and suggested people they knew who might be interested- we were really open to anyone. It ended up being a patchwork of people that we either knew or had heard about or been referred to.” As a result, the Georgia Cluster is a diverse mix of family medicine physicians, ob-gyns, emergency medicine physicians, and non-physician clinicians such as Nurse Practitioners and Physicians’ Assistants. Cross-discipline coalition building is always important for advocacy; this is especially true in areas where the restrictions are greater and the community is smaller.
Per Dr. Ti, “A lot of people didn’t know each other, so it was nice to get that community building going. We spent a lot of time chatting and getting to know one another and a sense of our interests.” Overall, the common thread seemed to be that people were looking for a group of like-minded people, many of whom were driven by the 2016 election, to keep that post-election motivation going and continue organizing. Many ideas came out of this first meeting- ranging from meeting with local elected representatives to starting a “book club” to increasing activity in the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. RHAP is very grateful to Dr. Ti and Dr. Smith for their efforts to organize in Georgia, and we look forward to supporting them as the Cluster grows and strengthens!
*Name changed to protect the provider’s privacy.
If you are a clinician and would like to be connected with the Georgia Cluster and/or the Reproductive Health Access Network, please email Senior Program Manager Laura Riker firstname.lastname@example.org.