2020 has been a difficult year. Like so many others, the RHAP community was deeply impacted by COVID-19. In addition to the personal impact of this pandemic, our organization faced a number of new challenges. We moved our office to be 100% remote at the beginning of the pandemic. We had to learn new rhythms, new ways of navigating the work, and how to share office and living space with new officemates (our families, roommates, and pets!). Additionally, we showed up for the clinicians who are on the front line of this pandemic – clinicians who continued to go to work every day while figuring out how to navigate this new and horrific virus and still looking to provide reproductive health care to their patients. We developed a whole new curriculum and set of resources that specifically outline how to provide abortion, miscarriage, and contraception care that is safe and patient-centered during this time. We revamped our most popular patient education resource, the birth control choices fact sheet, to be more aligned with our organizational values. We laid the groundwork to publish three new comic books (stay tuned, out in early 2021). We re-configured our Network, which has always focused on in-person meetings, to be completely virtual and to provide support to clinicians who are now facing impossible situations at work. We’ve hosted 92 online gatherings since March and launched a national “Cluster” for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). We added two new fellowship training sites – and we now train fellows in Michigan and New Jersey, in addition to Massachusetts, New York, and Washington.
The ongoing uprising for Black lives, brought on by George Floyd’s murder at the hands of the police, pushed our organization to reflect deeply on what it takes to be anti-racist, and how we can and must do better. We have started speaking out more on issues of inequity and racial injustice, uplifting the efforts and work of Black-led justice organizations, participating in more coalitions led by BIPOC partners, and issuing statements that clearly outline our beliefs as an organization. We restructured our clinical leadership to make room for new leaders. We started a strategic planning process to focus our work over the next few years. As part of that process, we are ensuring that a racial justice lens is integrated into our organizational structures, vision, mission, and programs.
Despite the challenges we have all faced this year, the RHAP team is grateful for so many things: the technology – yes, even zoom! – that allows us to work from home and stay connected to each other; our colleagues, who show up to work every day, uphold our organizational values, and hold us accountable; the clinicians we work with all across the country; and, folks like you, who support our work during what has been a financially rough year for everyone. Thank you, and best wishes for a happy New Year.