Colorado’s unparalleled public health success story
In 2008, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment received support from a private donor to launch the Colorado Family Planning Initiative, an expansion of the Family Planning Program. The program is run through clinics that receive operational support through county appropriations, client fees, insurance reimbursement and Title X, a federal grant program that supports high-quality family planning services for individuals who may otherwise lack access to care. The support provided training, operational support, and low- or no-cost long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) to low-income women statewide. Given the effort’s demonstrated ability to reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion rates, the department has continued support through the state budget.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
I just saw a super smart, young single mom who came to me because she was getting back into a relationship after being abstinent since her two year old was born. She came in for birth control pills – which she said she was using before she got pregnant. I shared with her all her options she got very excited about an IUD. “No one told me I could have that.” We had a no show later that morning, and fit her into that time slot so she could have an IUD inserted, letting her head out the door feeling great about her new method.
- Staff from Summit Community Care Clinic
A patient returned to our clinic after 3 years to have her implant removed and replaced. She has graduated high school, is currently working at medical center and planning on attending nursing school in the future. I asked how her life would have been different if she did not have this LARC, and she said she had a “scare”—a missed period – when she was 17. She told her mom about the situation, and her mom found our clinic. They came in and once she found out that she was not pregnant, she learned about her options and decided to get the implant.
- Staff from Children’s Hospital Adolescent Clinic
At one of our clinics, a young woman came in for a Nexplanon. Afterward, she told her friends how much she loved it, and before long our Nurse Practitioner had inserted nine other implants in young women – all within three months and in ways that worked for the patients. We strive to provide women with a worry-free method as they navigate their lives.
- Staff of San Juan Basin Health Department
A young girl came to our clinic at the request of her mother. The mother had been a very young mom and was worried about her daughter. I counseled the daughter and found out she did have a boyfriend but had remained abstinent. She knew how concerned her mother was and decided to go ahead with the Nexplanon. She then told me that it was a great option because she did not plan on having kids until after she pursued an acting career and that is was so great how long this method would last!
- Staff of Lake County Public Health
A young woman who graduated from South High School visited Westside Clinic today. When she was a student, she met several times with our School-Based Health Educators and was referred to Westside Health Center in September 2010 for a contraceptive implant. She is almost 20 years old now and recently married. She came to see me today because her implant expires in 2 months and she and her husband are planning to start a family. We were able to discuss prenatal vitamins and how to plan for a healthy pregnancy. Success!
- Staff from Denver Health