I think I speak for most of us when I say I just want 2020 to be over. It has been a year of turmoil for most of us personally and politically. Family Planning programs came under intense scrutiny, and many Planned Parenthood clinics closed or left our networks resulting in limited or no reproductive health services for persons seeking services. We didn't realize when our staff was attending the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association conference in D.C. in March, that the COVID-19 pandemic would result in no more travel, no more in-person conferences or meetings, and that our lives personally and professionally would be dictated by ZOOM.
Luckily, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Title X reproductive services continued to be labeled as "essential healthcare" by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Population Affairs. And while our Wyoming Title X Clinics experienced a decrease in client visits due to the shutdown and health concerns related to the pandemic, our network of clinics still provided 9,982 total visits during January-November 2020 (a 21% decrease in comparing the same time period in 2019).
As always, the Title X providers continued to serve the most vulnerable target populations to include percentages of client visits:
Adolescents made up 22% of clients served;
Low-income individuals receiving no cost services accounted for 50% of clients served; and,
An additional 31% individuals served received discounted services
Despite shutdowns, staffing shortages and other obstacles, the clinics responded by providing services curbside, by telephone calls, by mailing supplies and by still having in-person visits. This shows the commitment our clinics' staff have to providing reproductive healthcare to the people of Wyoming.
This year Wyoming Health Council increased our Education and Outreach efforts through the creation and dissemination of this newsletter; by increasing our social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; by advertising our clinic services in the Oil City News and Capital City News outlets; and by totally revamping our website. web
Please join us in welcoming 2021! May all of our lives be filled with hope, resilience, and meaning as we refocus on the reproductive health care needs of our citizens and move forward with our lives.