PPLM increased its presence in the communities it serves through relationship-building and strategic collaboration.
Campaigning for Health
PPLM conducted creative bilingual multi-media campaigns encouraging patients to access PPLM virtual services and to take advantage of increased in-person availability at PPLM’s four health centers. The campaigns emphasized prevention and treatment for a range of sexual and reproductive health issues. They emphasized the confidentiality, flexibility, and affordability of telehealth, and included a highly focused promotional effort in Southeastern Massachusetts, a region that currently has poor access to abortion.
A new version of the “My Care, My Way” campaign proved particularly effective in alerting people to the availability at PPLM of confidential gender-affirming hormone therapy and related services through telehealth. Other initiatives included the #BacktoSchool checklist, which urged young people to use PPLM’s telehealth services for birth control, STI testing, and preventive care. Targeted advertising in the Worcester community promoted telehealth use and encouraged increased parent involvement in young peoples’ care and education. In Springfield, “Ready, Set, PrEP,” a campaign designed to boost awareness about and equitable access to HIV prevention, care, and education among Black and Latino/a/x people, featured a prominent “Stay Safe” billboard as well as print materials, social media posts, patient surveys, online events, and virtual presentations by PPLM providers and educators.
Working with Community Partners
To connect more people to PPLM services and resources, and to deepen its relationships with the communities it serves, PPLM forged alliances with grassroots organizations and health care institutions, particularly in underserved areas and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. Such dynamic partnerships significantly extended PPLM’s reach and helped build lasting networks. Among the partners were: Out Now, a youth-led, adult-advised, queer youth organization that works to promote harm reduction, self-determination, and community-building through anti-oppression organizing; New North Citizen's Council, an agency providing HIV, hepatitis, and other STI screenings; and Caring Health Center, a culturally diverse health center serving Western Massachusetts. PPLM is grateful to these organizations for their partnership in efforts to advance equitable access to sexual and reproductive health.
Reassuring Our Patients
Throughout the year, PPLM responded to patients’ concerns regarding access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on the PPLM website, ads on popular platforms such as Spotify, radio, social media and print materials emphasized the effectiveness of the COVD-19 vaccine, described safety measures for patients visiting health centers, and affirmed the availability of safe, legal abortion as an ongoing PPLM service.
"Our goal is to reduce stigma, and increase community presence through building thoughtful, meaningful, and intentional relationships with community members and partners. We strive to engage our community through collaborative and strategic initiatives, as well as education, advocacy, and outreach. We try our hardest to prioritize sexual and reproductive health as a public health priority and create access in all corners of our state."
Sasha Jimenez, Community Outreach Manager
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