***For Immediate Release*** Contact: Erin White
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PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF NEW YORK CITY PARTNERS WITH COMMUNITY TO INCREASE SEXUAL HEALTH INFORMATION (2/13/14)
More than 100+ community staff can now share reproductive health information in Queens
(New York, NY)—Last week, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) hosted a celebration honoring the more than 110 staff members from the Queens Library, South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!), and Sunnyside Community Services who were trained by PPNYC to ensure that more than 40,000 Queens residents have access to quality, medically accurate, and nonjudgmental sexual and reproductive health information. New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer attended the celebration in support of the graduates and the program.
“The Queens Healthy Sexuality Capacity Building Project is at the heart of Planned Parenthood’s commitment to build and strengthen our relationships with Queens community organizations in order to improve the health and well-being of the Queens community,” said Joan Malin, President and CEO of PPNYC. “Queens is a dynamic and diverse borough that continues to have unmet health care and information needs. This program provides Queens residents with essential sexual and reproductive health information and empowers community advocates with the tools to support men, women, and young people in accessing reproductive health care.”
Prior to the training, multiple staff members from these three organizations told PPNYC that local teens regularly asked questions about pregnancy and other issues concerning sexual health. Despite their desire to help, staff struggled to answer young people's questions. The information in the training is the kind of support the community needs. Queens not only has the highest rate of uninsured in New York City, but also faces cultural and linguistic barriers to accessing care, a shrinking safety net of health care providers, and high rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Ensuring that teens and adults have information to keep themselves healthy is important to keeping Queens communities vibrant.
“The learning and tools that we developed through this program have allowed us to engage with our youth on an important new level,” said Udai Tambar, executive director of SAYA!. “We’re now able to naturally initiate conversations about reproductive and sexual health, sexuality, healthy relationships, and other issues that are vital to the development of our youth as a matter of course. I know our youth will be stronger for it.”
PPNYC is in the process of conducting research on the Queens Healthy Sexuality Capacity Building Project. During the first year:
- More than 110 staff members (program participants) at the three community organizations have been trained to offer quality, medically accurate, and nonjudgmental information about sexual and reproductive health to the more than 40,000 people they reach each year in Queens. The staff are also equipped with the information to refer their constituents to health care providers that offer quality, affordable health care services.
- Program participants significantly increased their knowledge about the prevention and transmission of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, as well as young people’s rights to access health services and emergency contraception.
- Following the program, participants were significantly more likely to say their organization supported them when it came to addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of the community.
- Participants reported that they felt more prepared to make referrals and educate constituents about sexual and reproductive health.
- The foundation for long-term partnerships between Queens community organizations and PPNYC has been established.
“Planned Parenthood of New York City is an incredible community partner,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “I am grateful for all they do to keep the Queens community healthy. As a trusted health care provider, Planned Parenthood continues to raise awareness about reproductive and sexual health. Through their comprehensive education platform, Planned Parenthood has empowered countless New Yorkers to make informed choices and lead healthy lives.”
Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 50,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC is bringing better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers—and, in fact, people around the world—will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.