According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Cincinnati has the seventh highest poverty rate in the entire country.
As a growing advocate for women’s health resource, I was encouraged to see that there certainly were organizations that provide health services and education in these areas. However, other than Planned Parenthood, there are very few resources available to help teach both youth and adults about sexual and reproductive health. We live in a community with organizations that can help fix medical problems, which is good. If there were more resources available to educate youth and adults about sexual and reproductive health and well-being, many of these problems might be avoided in the first place. I hope to, in the next few years, open a sexual health resource center that would provide workshops and classes, as well as be a reference point that directs people to many of these organizations listed here.
The Cincinnati Health Department was awarded a grant from the Ohio Department of Health to begin a Reproductive Health and Wellness Program, called the body shop. One of the body shop’s two locations (which serve all of Hamilton County) is located in Over-the-Rhine, and the entire program has enrolled over 8,000 people so far. Their primary objective is providing access to contraceptives and reproductive health services to the most under-served populations. The goal is to reduce the number of unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies and poor pregnancy outcomes. In addition, they provide reproductive health care services to teens, confidential birth control, and STI testing (with a focus on syphilis prevention).
Caracole, Inc. serves more than 1,500 clients living with HIV/AIDS in eight counties in Southwest Ohio, including Hamilton County. Their headquarters are located near both Over-the-Rhine and Price Hill. Caracole provides free, anonymous, or confidential HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) testing for the community. They also provide education and prevention services to at-risk populations. People of all income levels (with and without medical insurance) can receive medical case management (including help addressing needs other than HIV/AIDS), individual support maintaining medical care and medication adherence. Caracole contracts with a mail-order pharmacy that provides HIV and non-HIV medication to enrolled clients.
Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio has been a leading reproductive health care provider and educator for the area. They have seven centers that provide a wide range of reproductive health care services to tens of thousands of women and men. They provide pregnancy testing and services, birth control, emergency contraception, abortion referral, general health care, HIV testing, STD testing and treatment, and general women’s health care. They also provide sexuality education programs for schools, professionals, and parents. They host conferences and learning events, such as their Fall 2016 workshop, “Building Sexually Healthy Communities.”
Santa Maria Community Services is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 3,000 individuals in Price Hill. They offer an annual Women’s Health Fair for Price Hill women to obtain free health screenings and information on community resources on. They have weekly information sessions on human trafficking outreach and HIV prevention and education. Santa Maria’s Wellness Program offers health education and resources for under-insured or uninsured individuals through home visits, public health fairs and events, as well as at various health sites. The Wellness Program helps with emergency prescription assistance and medications, free mental health counseling, and health promotion support.
Crossroad Health Center is a federally qualified health center with locations in both Over-the-Rhine and Price Hill. They are a church based organization serving more than 10,000 patients who otherwise would not be able to afford care. They offer well exams, gynecological care including pap smears, physicals, immunizations, preventative cancer screenings, and pregnancy care through their partner Healthy Beginnings.