Member Spotlights

West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Family Planning Program

Charleston, WV

The West Virginia Bureau for Public Health Family Planning Program (WV Family Planning Program) aims to deliver top-notch clinical care to women and men in the “Mountain State.” The WV Family Planning Program has fee-for-service agreements to provide family planning services within federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and private health centers. In addition, the program has grown to encompass an adolescent pregnancy prevention initiative with a focus on deterring teen pregnancy, and provides preconception counseling to improve birth outcomes. The WV Family Planning Program works collaboratively with other agencies in the state, such as the Bureau for Children and Families and the Department of Education, with the goal of providing a wide safety net for West Virginians while making the most effective use of taxpayer dollars. 

The WV Family Planning Program is made up of a dedicated team that meets the clinical, administrative, and financial needs of its health centers throughout the state. Currently, the program has 162 health centers in its network. Two of these centers are dedicated to providing family planning/gynecological services, and the remaining 160 sites are local health departments and FQHCs that serve as medical homes for family planning patients. The family planning system in West Virginia has Title X-funded health centers in each of the six counties in the state and also receives funding from the Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant, Medicaid, and state tax dollars. Health centers in the program have worked to develop a variety of service hours and practices that meet the varied needs of its patient population, including providing services during evenings and on Saturdays.

Over the last ten years, the WV Family Planning Program has served between 50,000 and 60,000 individuals annually. In 2011, the program served 50,388 women and 4,729 men. Over 50% of female patients under the age of 26 were screened for both chlamydia and gonorrhea. More than 90% of the population served is at or below 100% of the FPL, earning under $11,170 a year for an individual; about one in five is an adolescent, and about one in ten is male. Oral contraceptives are the number one method used by the program’s patients, though the use of long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) increased by 42% from 2010 to 2011. The WV Family Planning Program attributes this increase in part to an annual meeting that focused on the use of LARCs as well as several insertion trainings that were co-sponsored by a pharmaceutical manufacturer.

In recent years, the program has shifted its focus, broadening its outreach efforts to males and teens. This shift has resulted in the offering of Title X services, including contraception, in several school-based health centers, with plans to add more in the coming years. During the 2011-2012 school year, the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Initiative reached more than 11,000 students and distributed over 96,000 pieces of educational material in the schools. The WV Family Planning Program’s staff has developed several projects that are intended to continue to increase the teen patient population at Title X-funded health centers. The program’s recent efforts to engage males resulted in a doubling of the number of male patients seen in Title X health centers over the last ten years.

Due to the state’s small population, funds for various projects in West Virginia often span across multiple agencies, requiring interagency cooperation. West Virginia has a cooperative relationship between state legislators, state agency administrators, and community involvement groups, resulting in a statewide platform to decrease teen pregnancy. The widespread coordination across West Virginia has resulted in better birth outcomes, a decrease in Medicaid-funded births, and a renewed determination by WV Family Planning Program staff to continue their proactive efforts.

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Visit the West Virginia Family Planning Program on the web at:

www.wvdhhr.org/fp/default.asp

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