A Win for Patient Choice

It’s hard to believe that it is already the end of the year. This time of the year feels a lot different than others. As we begin to reach the anniversary of the pandemic we know that many of you are exhausted from helping our communities fight against COVID-19 while balancing your other responsibilities. We are so thankful for the work that you’re doing and wish you rest and joy this season.

Like many of you, this year has been one of change for Upstream. In order to meet our agencies where they are, we switched to remote work and adapted our program to provide virtual offerings. In spite of all of the obstacles of this year, we began training agencies in September. We’ll talk more about our exciting results below.

We also welcomed two new agencies.

Happy New Year. Thank you for your continued support on this journey.

Moving into Training

This year, from September to December, we worked with five partners to train ten sites for a total of 13 trainings across North Carolina. Those agencies were Atrium Health, Cabarrus Health Alliance, Charlotte Community Health Clinic, Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services, and Mecklenburg County Health Department. In our last update, we talked about our new virtual offerings, which we’ve been working on since April. To see that come to life and watch our partners not only learn from the training but enjoy it, has been one of the highlights of our year.

Average Knowledge Score: Cabarrus Health Alliance

From pre to post training, clinicians showed a 7 percentage point increase in contraceptive knowledge, while support staff showed an 18 percentage point increase (based on a pre-training survey response of 8 clinicians and 31 support staff and a post-training survey response of 3 clinicians and 18 support staff).

Our first training in North Carolina was with Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA). Shortly after, a patient came to the office for her annual visit. After asking her whether she wanted to get pregnant in the next year – a standard screening question across all the health centers we work with – the CHA provider learned that the patient was not happy with her current birth control method, the pill, and that she was interested in something that would better fit her needs. The provider and patient then talked about her preferences and goals, and the patient decided to choose the implant. The implant is typically one of the more difficult methods for health centers to offer due to lack of training, stocking issues, and billing problems – as a result, it sometimes takes three or more visits to get one. However, after our training, CHA was able to provide her method of choice the same day, a win for patient choice.

Welcome to Our New Partners

We are so excited to welcome two new partners, Guilford County Department of Public Health and Wake County Department of Human Services. This brings us to a total of 22 partner agencies in North Carolina.

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