Governor Moore and Upstream USA Announce Initiative to Expand Access to Contraceptive Care

Partnership aims to strengthen contraceptive access in healthcare settings across the state

Annapolis, Maryland, November 28, 2023 – Governor Wes Moore and Upstream USA (Upstream) today announced a four-year partnership to expand access to patient-centered contraceptive services across the state of Maryland.

According to Guttmacher, Maryland has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the United States (tied with New York and New Jersey). As of 2023, nearly 285,000 Maryland women in need live in contraceptive deserts, areas in which there is not reasonable access to a health organization offering the full range of contraceptive methods. “This is about making sure that we treat contraception like basic health care, because contraception is basic health care,” said Gov. Moore. “Under this partnership with Upstream, we will help ensure that more of our health care providers are trained on the ins and outs of contraceptive care; we will bring contraception to communities that have too often been overlooked – including our rural communities—and we will build on Maryland’s growing reputation as a state that is ready to lead on health care and close gaps in our healthcare system.”

“Today’s announcement doubles down on our administration’s commitment to protecting reproductive health care freedoms and our commitment to equity,” said Lt. Gov. Miller. “By partnering with Upstream, Maryland is eliminating barriers and expanding access to the basic health care that enables women to make choices about their reproductive care. This is just another example of Maryland leading the way on progress.”

Governor Moore and Upstream announced today that CCI Health Services, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), will be the first healthcare partner to receive support and services as part of the statewide initiative. With locations across Maryland, CCI Health Services delivers high-quality, accessible care to its community members, who typically live in medically underserved areas and populations.

“Tens of thousands of women live in areas of Maryland where there is not reasonable access to health care,” said Maryland Department of Health Secretary Dr. Laura Herrera Scott. “This partnership puts a much-needed emphasis on women’s health by protecting their rights and offering equitable access to a full range of contraceptive methods on demand.”

“We are at a crucial point in history, where there should be no wrong door for patients to access birth control,” said Mark Edwards, CEO of Upstream. “Under the direction of Governor Moore and in partnership with Upstream, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is taking a leadership role to close gaps in contraceptive care by integrating best-in-class contraceptive services into primary care settings.”

The formal collaboration between the state of Maryland and Upstream will focus its efforts to increase equitable access to contraceptive care by offering free technical assistance, training and education on contraceptive care in the healthcare settings where most women already receive their healthcare: primary care practices, including federally qualified health centers, health systems, and primary care clinics.

About Upstream USA
Established in 2014, Upstream is a national nonprofit organization that works to reduce unplanned pregnancy by expanding access to contraceptive care for all people of reproductive age. Through its consultative approach, Upstream delivers training and wraparound services at no cost to health care providers of all types, including hospitals, private practice groups, state and local health departments, and FQHCs. With each partnership, Upstream is integrating contraceptive care in more healthcare settings, a critical step towards addressing inequitable access to health care. Upstream’s model empowers patients to partner with their providers to
make informed decisions about contraception. Initial support for Upstream was provided by a small group of philanthropic investors, including Blue Meridian Partners and The Ballmer Group

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