VOLUME 16 | ISSUE 1 | January 2, 2019
Watching old holiday movies is a tradition for many this time of year. One of my favorites is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” In this story, George Bailey discovers the difference he made in a number of peoples’ lives. When one is living their life and doing their jobs, it is sometimes difficult to know if you are making a difference. Everyone, but especially those working in the family planning clinics, please realize that you are making a difference every day. Your work and care help so many people.

I hope that as you celebrated the holidays you took some time to celebrate yourself and the difference you make.
May 2019 be a wonderful year for each of you!

Executive Director
Breast and pelvic exams have been a controversial topic in the last 5-10 years since cervical cytology frequency and timing have changed and since most contraceptive methods are no longer tied to cervical cytology. Because cervical cytology evaluation is less frequent, women are not always going to their clinic for their “annual” exams. When they do go to their provider, it hasn’t been clear if clinicians should perform a pelvic exam since they are not performing the cervical cytology. The American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family physicians, the US Preventive Services Task Force, and the American College of OB/GYNs (ACOG) have varied in their recommendations. In October, ACOG updated their recommendations in their Committee Opinions, Well Woman Visit, #755 and The Utility of and Indications for Routine Pelvic Examination, #754 . ACOG advises that components of a physical examination should be a shared decision between the provider and the client, dependent on a comprehensive history. They recommend that pelvic and breast examinations be performed when indicated by the medical history or symptoms. The development and discussion of her reproductive life plan is another key component of a well woman visit to ensure testing and treatments correspond with her current and future reproductive plans. Old habits are difficult to change, but clinicians now must consider what components of an examination have value and not perform a “comprehensive” examination just because “we’ve always done it that way.”

 There are many health awareness events and activities coming up. We encourage you to get connected with health promotion activities in your community!


STDs are at an all-time high. Nationally combined diagnoses of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have increased over the last five years. Overall, there has been a 31% increase in these three reportable infections from 2013 to 2017. Iowa is experiencing similar trends.
One concept that is getting a lot of attention right now is the idea of “Express” STD clinic visits. This model is being considered as a way to see more asymptomatic patients with a reduced burden of staff time and need for full provider visits. The benefits include increased clinic capacity, decreased costs, reduced time to treatment, and reduced visit time. However, the main downside is that other diagnoses may be missed and counseling opportunities are usually at a minimum.
Express clinics are already being used in many locations. An express visit is usually a walk-in appointment where the patient is triaged with a series of questions to make sure there are no symptoms or known exposure that would require a full exam. If these are not present, then a provider is not needed. Many times the patients collect their own samples or specimens. This has the added benefit of reducing stigma which in turn, increases access to care.
There are still challenges with express visits. As mentioned, other diagnoses may be missed. Working with Electronic Medical Records can be challenging, as can having the right staffing model to process the express patient. Sometimes physical limitations of the clinic can be prohibitive to provide the space needed to manage the patients and give them confidential space to collect specimens. Opportunities may also be missed to discuss risk prevention and other services such as PrEP.
But with the overwhelming need to be able to see more individuals, the Express Clinic visit is under discussion. The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) is currently conducting a project to develop a better understanding of the role of express visits and build support for providing quality STD services in this way. Their objectives include increasing the evidence base for express visits and increasing the capacity for decision-making, implementation, and evaluation of these types of visits. They are working with 15 high-morbidity jurisdictions that have implemented or plan to implement Express STD clinic visits. Three additional jurisdictions are doing more in-depth projects related to reimbursement, staffing, and marketing. You can read more about the project on the NACCHO website: https://www.naccho.org/programs/community-health/infectious-disease/hiv-sti/std-prevention
There are also a number of published journal articles and studies available on this subject. For more information contact Colleen Bornmueller, CBSS Coordinator at cbornmueller@fpcouncil.com

U. S. Office on Minority Health - New Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Standards (CLAS) Toolkit - The National CLAS Standards, developed by the HHS Office on Minority Health in 2000, include a collective set of mandates and guidelines that inform, guide and facilitate both required and recommended practices related to culturally and linguistically appropriate health services.

Highlights from the Clinical Conference at the National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care and Treatment - December 9 - 11, 2018. This annual conference aims to reach and educate HIV clinicians in the U.S. who provide comprehensive HIV care to individuals under the Health Resources and Services Administration HIV/AIDS Bureau's Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) . The link will connect you to valuable online information and resources provided at this year's conference.

U.H.H.S. Funding Opportunity: Advanced Nursing Education - Nurse Practitioner Residency Grants to prepare new nurse practitioners in primary care for practice in community-based settings through clinical and academic focused 12-month Nurse Practitioner Residency programs, with a preference for those projects that benefit rural or underserved populations. The application deadline is March 4, 2019.

The NCSD (National Coalition of STD Directors) Engage Annual Conference is the only national meeting that brings together state and local STD prevention and sexual health professionals and their community-based partners.
This year’s meeting was held November 13 - 16, 2018 in Orlando, FL. The FPCI Community-Based Screening Services Coordinator, Colleen Bornmueller, was part of a panel at the meeting entitled “Structural Barriers to STD Testing and Treatment for Women”. Ms. Bornmueller presented on the Iowa experience of the impact on STD services when policy decisions are made to limit family planning providers funding. She highlighted the impact on the Iowa Title X network over the last few years with changes in policy with Medicaid Managed Care and the new State Family Planning Program. Other speakers on the panel addressed issues related to intimate partner violence, implementation of PrEP for women, and the changes to the overall Title X family planning network and grant requirements.
108 3RD ST. STE. 220 DES MOINES, IA 50309
| 515.288.9028 | 515.288.4048 |

This publication is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Office of Population Affairs/Family Planning: The information, comments, and views posted in this correspondence are the sole responsibility of the Family Planning Council of Iowa.
© 2019 Family Planning Council of Iowa, All Rights Reserved.