We’ve been thinking about the virtues of going virtual long before the pandemic. In particular, how using virtual technology could help us expand our training and technical assistance programs nationally in creative and accessible ways. While we are able to teach the clinical management of medication abortion easily to large groups of clinicians (we have trained hundreds of clinicians all across the country), we have found that working through implementation issues takes a lot longer. Organizations need technical assistance, legal, and financial support to even be able to dispense mifepristone on site. Up until now, we have provided health care organizations with this support on a one-on-one basis. This fall we are laying the groundwork to launch a pilot “virtual knowledge network” in 2021 to scale up our technical assistance capacity.
Our virtual knowledge network pilot, or VKN, will allow us to connect with 15 – 20 health care organizations simultaneously, providing them with intensive technical assistance. These organizations will connect with us directly, but, even more powerfully, they’ll connect with each other. Interdisciplinary teams from participating organizations will attend hourlong structured online sessions every two weeks. We’ll cover core issues we have found that most organizations need to address to provide medication abortion. Each meeting will also have time to explore, in-depth, the experience of one of the participants. Organizations will learn from experts and from each other. We will study our process to figure out what the critical elements of the VKN should be. We’ll also create an online community where participants can communicate with each other and share resources, further reinforcing what they learn at each session.
This month, as we celebrate 20 years of mifepristone access in the United States, we are launching a fundraising campaign to raise $20,000 to help us launch of VKN pilot. A generous donor has pledged to match all donations, dollar for dollar, to up $10,000. Donate today to help us kick off this campaign!