Supporting our network of primary care clinicians to expand access to abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care lies at the heart of what RHAP does. We do this through our training and technical assistance programs, such as the Reproductive Health and Advocacy Fellowship and the Miscarriage Care Initiative, and through our Reproductive Health Access Network. The Network is our community of over 3,000 primary care clinicians from across the country, who come together in person and virtually to support each other, advocate for reproductive health care access, and engage in clinical training.
This past spring, in response to requests from our Network leaders, we were able to start offering free Continuing Education (CE) medication abortion workshops to our Clusters around the country. Clinicians are required to obtain a certain number of CE credits per year in order to maintain their licenses and stay up to date on evidence-based, patient-centered care. By offering free credits, we’re able to provide access to abortion training for all of our Cluster members. After the training, Cluster members who are committed to integrating medication abortion care into their practice settings are connected with RHAP for technical assistance to help them get this service up and running as soon as possible.
Our very first medication abortion with free CE workshop took place in Massachusetts and was led by Dr. Honor MacNaughton, RHAP’s first fellow and a co-Cluster leader. The room was filled with over 30 clinicians, residents, and students- and the training was even featured on WBUR, Boston’s NPR New Station! Check it out here.
In June, the North Carolina Cluster hosted the next medication abortion training. Because the Cluster is large and includes clinicians from all across the state, the workshops happened simultaneously in three different locations – the Triangle, Asheville, and Greenville. Each site had its own in-person training, and then the group combined to discuss implementation using Zoom. Over 30 clinicians received credit, including several clinicians who were brand-new to the Cluster.
Reflecting on the evening, Dr. Erica Pettigrew (one of the co-Cluster leaders) shared: “It was such a powerful evening – dozens of people in three locations across our state coming together at one time to protect and advance access to reproductive health. Shared values and a sense of outrage unite us in our collective purpose. Thank you to RHAP for providing resources for this to happen.” Having a workshop that spread across the state demonstrated to us that even in geographically larger states, we can use technology to create a statewide community of motivated, inspired clinician advocates.
We’re grateful to our Massachusetts and North Carolina Clusters for helping us pilot this brand new CE opportunity, and we look forward to our upcoming medication abortion workshops in Maine, Illinois, Oregon, Rhode Island, and more this fall!
If you are a clinician and would like to join the Network, please sign up here. If you’re a clinician and interested in learning more about hosting or attending a medication abortion, please email Laura Riker, National Organizer, here.