Season of Gratitude

As we enter this season of gratitude, I’m reflecting on those who matter most. I cannot say this enough, but I am immensely grateful for our health center partners who have prioritized their patients by providing them with best-in-class contraceptive care.

Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year looks very different from the last. We’re continuing to see training and technical assistance activity pick up at our health centers, which is promising after COVID-related delays. Recently, an Upstreamer shared this story about work with one of our North Carolina partners.

In early September, our Practice Transformation team spent a few days on site with one of our North Carolina health centers who had paused their work in May 2021 and, since re-engaging this past spring, had struggled with their program timeline. As of May they had closed two of their satellite offices, changed staff structure and workflow processes, and switched electronic health records systems. 

Our team spent days conducting staff interviews and establishing new baseline assessments, which ultimately led to a new implementation plan and a reinvigorated partnership. At the end of our visit, the medical director reflected on the importance of contraceptive care and shared that as they reopen clinics and expand services: “This is a lifeline for our patients and we really need to just get back out there.”

By December, we will be working with five times as many partners as we were a year ago. We know there are so many priorities in health centers, and this re-engagement is a testament to our partners’ commitment to expanding equitable access to contraceptive care, and for that, we thank you! 

I also need to take a moment to express gratitude for our phenomenal staff who play an integral role in advancing our mission. From our Practice Transformation team to our People Experience team, each of them pours their talents into Upstream to help build a future where patient-centered contraceptive care is an integral part of primary care in all settings, for all people. 

As we prepare to gather with our loved ones during this time of gratitude, I am encouraged by how far we have come this year and how many obstacles we have overcome. This work continues to make a meaningful difference only through our collective efforts with our health center partners and Upstream staff. 

Happy Thanksgiving and as we approach the end of 2022, I look forward to closing out another remarkable year. 

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