I am most proud of doing the work the best we can in a virtual [setting]. The subrecipients we work with and all [of our] partners have been willing to [make] a lot of changes.
Title X Grantee
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many obstacles to service delivery for Title X providers and TPP program staff over the last year, including site closures, staff loss and turnover, the vaccine rollout, and countless other competing priorities. Despite these challenges, Title X and TPP grantees have adapted by finding innovative ways of sustaining, and in some cases expanding, access to critical services and education within their communities.
Over the past year, many Title X sites reduced hours, limited the number of in-person visits, or closed altogether as a result of the pandemic. However, Title X sites quickly shifted staffing, workflows, and resources to meet their communities’ evolving needs. With clients unable to visit clinics, many Title X sites started offering telehealth, making health services more accessible, particularly in under-resourced communities.
A Title X grantee in Nevada created a mobile health unit with the goal of increasing access to health services by a 100-mile radius. On-site procedures changed as well, with Title X providers pivoting to offer front-door services, such as prescription pick-ups and urine sample drop-offs, when possible. Many sites expanded their referral networks to address a wider range of client needs, such as access to transportation and food. Despite the challenging conditions of the past year, Title X grantees have exercised flexibility and creativity to continue supporting their communities.
Similarly, TPP grantees identified new ways to engage youth in lieu of planned in-person programming. With students moving between hybrid and virtual programming, and delivery sites such as community centers remaining closed, TPP grantees turned to social media platforms to connect with youth and parents and to share resources. One grantee is using TikTok, a video-sharing app, to disseminate information and demonstrations, and even went viral with a video explaining California’s minor consent laws. Another grantee began hosting virtual “parent university” events, using YouTube and Facebook to engage parents in conversations around mental health, substance use counseling services and medication safety, and the importance of parent-child communication.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted just how challenging it can be for individuals to access health services, Title X providers and TPP grantees have implemented innovative solutions to support their clients and maintain access to family planning care and educational programming.