In this issue:
- President & CEO Message
- National Condom Week
- Educating Youth in Suffolk County
- Register for Our Annual Day of Action
- Safer Sex Kits for Community Partners
- In Case You Missed This
- How You Can Help
As you know, this month we are celebrating Black History Month. Throughout U.S history, Black women have been at the forefront of social movements, organizing communities, reimagining fields from the arts to the sciences. This Black History Month and every day, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic stands with Black women to honor their rich heritage, appreciate their contributions, and celebrate their achievements.
As we recognize Kamala Harris as the first Black woman to become Vice President of the United States, we are reminded how strongly Black women have shown up and showed out to the benefit of our shared democracy. In November, a record number of Black women, 26 in total, also won elections to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and began their new terms this year. Whether it's in the arts or the sciences, Black women’s influence radiates in every corner of American culture and history, shattering records in music, and leading movements that affirm the need for racial and gender justice, sex positivity, bodily autonomy, and health equity. Simply put, Black women forged our path to the present and are leading us into the future.
Despite being staunch champions of justice and gifted purveyors of culture, Black women seldom get the care, support, or respect they deserve. Planned Parenthood is committed to providing the care, education, and resources Black women need to protect their health and their futures, so they can lead healthy, safe, and empowered lives. Health equity is at the center of our work and we continually strive to see, hear, and learn from Black women as a care provider and educator they can trust to get the compassionate care, information, and resources they deserve — no matter what.
I encourage you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to stay up-to-date on what is happening at PPHP. Thank you again for your support of PPHP and our health care services, education programs, and advocacy work.
President & CEO
National Condom Week, observed annually from February 14 through February 21, is an opportunity to educate communities about the importance and effectiveness of condoms and other barrier methods. Safer sex is a form of self-care, and in a pandemic safer sex takes on new meaning. This National Condom Week, and every day, we want you to stay as healthy as possible by helping you get more comfortable talking with your partners about intimacy, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), getting tested, and protecting your health.
Condoms are the only form of birth control that also prevent STIs. And in an unusually stressful year, condoms can give you one less thing to worry about. In fact, condoms and other barrier methods can make sex less stressful and more, well, sexy, since they help prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy — so you can focus more on the fun. Using barrier methods and getting tested for STIs are important parts of staying on top of your sexual health and taking care of your body. Continue to get tested for STIs regularly to keep you and your partners as safe and healthy as possible.
While condoms are the most well-known and popular barrier method, there are other barriers you can use to protect yourself and your partner during sex. Internal condoms, dental dams, gloves, and finger cots all help protect against STIs, and they’re easy to get and use. You can also modify gloves and condoms to meet your needs.
Every aspect of your health matters and taking care of yourself is a crucial part of self-care. Whether it's in-person or via Telehealth, PPHP is here to help you take care of you, no matter what. We remain committed to the health and safety of our patients and communities. We’ve been working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure as many people as possible can still access critical, time-sensitive sexual health care — including expanding Telehealth services and adapting how we deliver STI testing and treatment. To schedule an appointment, or learn more about our services, visit www.pphp.org or call (800) 230-PLAN (7526).
Our Education and Training’s PREP team remains dedicated to finding creative ways to continue to reach Suffolk County youth with sexual and reproductive health education. In the fall of 2020, our team modified its evidence-based sexuality education programming to offer more options to the youth we serve. Now, young people between the ages of 10-21 can participate in the virtual multi-session sex education programs synchronously (through the direction of a PREP Health Educator) or asynchronously (completed individually and at the learner’s own pace).
In addition to our expanded evidence-based program options, the PREP team continues to host monthly Virtual Game Nights where youth can learn more about PPHP services and be provided with a Telehealth appointment upon request, as well as providing parent training programs and trainings for other youth-serving professionals. Be sure to check our Facebook and Instagram for upcoming Virtual Game Nights.
To learn more about our education and training programs for youth, parents, and professionals, visit www.pphp.org. To learn more about PPHP’s PREP program, please contact Lareicha Hunter, PREP Health Educator Manager, at [email protected].
Join PPHP and Planned Parenthood activists from across New York State for this year’s Day of Action on Tuesday, March 9, 2021. This year’s event will be more accessible than ever because you’ll be able to join safely from your own home!
The COVID-19 pandemic has truly amplified the importance of access to health care and highlighted the disparities that exist in our communities. Activists like you will have an amazing opportunity to connect with our state representatives and directly advocate for the issues that impact PPHP and the communities we serve, such as funding for reproductive and sexual health care, access to and coverage of Telehealth, addressing maternal mortality, and much more.
Black communities continue to be underserved by our institutions and are impacted by lack of access to funding and health care at much higher rates. We must make sure our elected officials know we are looking to them to lead the way in making sure our communities are healthy and cared for.
You do not want to miss this year’s event. Be sure to sign up today!
Our Public Affairs team recently launched their safer sex kit project and delivered 165 kits to four community partners in Suffolk County on February 5. Safer sex kits are bundles of barriers, such as internal condoms, external condoms, finger cots, dental dams, and flavored condoms. In addition, they include lubricant and a "Barrier Methods for Safer Sex: A Pocket Guide" booklet. They also include resources about PPHP's services, minor's rights, the Family Planning Benefits Program, how to make an appointment with PPHP, and information about how to get involved with the Public Affairs team to advocate for reproductive and sexual health care access.
These kits are distributed in collaboration with community partners who have identified underserved communities in Suffolk that would benefit from the resources in the safer sex kits. The current collaborators include: East End Birth Network, New Hour for Women & Children, the Shinnecock Reservation, and Wuttahminneoh Birth Work. The safer sex kit batches are customized to the needs of these unique communities. For example, transportation is a barrier to PPHP's health centers for people on the Shinnecock reservation, so their kits included information about free transportation access!
The goal of the project is to directly provide free resources for safer sex to communities who may not have easy access to our health centers, while simultaneously creating a socially distanced way to do outreach during the pandemic. If your community or organization is interested in safer sex kits, please reach out to Deena Hadhoud at [email protected].
A monthly gift to PPHP ensures security for patients in your local communities. Consider joining our Monthly Giving Program today at www.pphp.org/donatetoday.
Double your impact! Does your employer have a matching gift program? Check with your Human Resources Department to find out. For questions, contact the Development Department at [email protected].
Committed to safeguarding the future of reproductive health care? Consider leaving a legacy gift to PPHP in your will. Please contact the Development Department at [email protected].
Do you have a little bit of time to get more involved? Visit www.pphp.org for ways you can help.