Male clients play a key role in being a supporting partner of women’s reproductive health, and they have their own sexual and reproductive health concerns and needs. Therefore, increasing and improving access to family planning services among male clients is a key strategy that we are focusing on.Vince Aguon, Interim Project Coordinator for the Guam Family Planning and Reproductive Health Project
Earlier this year, the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services (GDPHSS) kicked off an initiative to integrate family planning into a broader set of services. During this process, the team identified a need to improve and increase access to family planning services for males.
The GDPHSS team recognized that family planning services for males is important for many reasons. These services can:
- Raise males’ awareness of how they can protect their own health
- Reduce males’ chances of unintended fatherhood or contracting sexually transmitted infections
- Support better health outcomes for males, their partners, and potential offspring
- Lead male clients to potentially build healthier relationships and, for those with female partners, to increase support for contraceptive use
- Save money by focusing on prevention instead of treatment
The GDPHSS team acknowledged the need to make some changes to enhance care and the patient experience for males. To support this effort, Vince Aguon, Interim Project Coordinator for the Guam Family Planning and Reproductive Health Project, engaged the RHNTC to provide training and technical assistance. Teams from the GDPHSS and RHNTC convened for a week of training, discussion, brainstorming, and planning to strengthen priority areas within GDPHSS's family planning project.
This technical assistance ultimately resulted in a GDPHSS patient experience improvement plan that focuses on:
- Providing targeted support to enhance staff’s comfort with delivering family planning services to males
- Enhancing the clinic environment to be more welcoming to males
- Updating policies and procedures to be more male-inclusive
Vince and the rest of the GDPHSS team are now implementing the new plan one step at a time.
Title X projects looking to improve the patient experience and increase access to family planning services for males can use the following resources to strengthen their efforts:
- Patient Experience Improvement Toolkit
- Getting Ready for Male Reproductive Health Services Toolkit
- Preventive Male Sexual and Reproductive Health Care - Recommendations for Clinical Practice
- Risk Assessment, Education & Counseling for Men in Reproductive Health eLearning
Title X projects can also learn more about the grantee technical assistance offered by the RHNTC.