Upstream’s PEM Recognized by Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards

We’re incredibly honored our Patient Education Materials (PEM) were recently recognized by Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards as a Finalist in the Health category & Honorable Mention in the Social Good category!

Tweet: Upstream USA's Birth Control Information Toolkit was honored at the 2021 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards, placing in two categories & named a finalist at the 2021 Design Think USA Awards in the Design Thinking for Social Good category!

Learn more about how we partnered with Smart Design to research & design materials centered around patients’ needs:

What’s new?

We’ve updated our birth control education webpage to offer a Spanish version. This site is designed to serve as a digital resource for patients looking to explore and compare birth control options.

Our postcards are now available in both English and Spanish. Each postcard features an overview of an individual contraceptive method. They can be used as self guided learning materials or a tool to facilitate conversations during a healthcare visit. Digital versions of our postcards can be downloaded from our partner resources website.

PEM in the field

We love when our partners share stories of how they have been using our educational materials with patients.

One of our partners in Rhode Island shared a clever way of using the postcards:

A patient expressed interest in birth control methods during an appointment. The provider pulled out Upstream’s PEM postcards cards and had the patient put them into piles of “absolutely not”, “maybe”, and “highly interested to learn more”. She said it was like a card game that allowed them to narrow down options in an efficient and fun way!

Boston Center for the Homeless Program also shared how they’re using some of the materials:

Enid Ramos Pitcher, Nurse Manager at the Pine Street Inn Women’s Clinic, pulled together a bulletin board display detailing birth control methods in the main patient area.

To make the board, Enid downloaded and printed the PDF one-pagers from Upstream’s “Learn about birth control” page!

If you have a story to share, we’d love to hear it! Contact us at

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