Recent Conference

Illinois Contraceptive Equity Summit

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The University of Chicago's Section of Family Planning and Contraceptive Research and EverThrive Illinois (Formerly Illinois Maternal & Child Health Coalition) co-sponsored the Illinois Contraceptive Equity Summit on August 20, 2014. The summit was organized to address challenges to contraceptive access so that all Illinois women and their families can make decisions about reproductive health free from coercion and discrimination. A panel of experts discussed issues affecting access to family planning health services. Speakers also discussed concrete action steps to improve this access. Nearly 100 healthcare providers, advocates, and community health workers attended the Summit.

Download a summary of the talks here [PDF].


Dr. Melissa Gilliam provided opening remarks and introduced the keynote speaker, Julie Hamos, Director of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Hamos used the Summit as a platform to announce the Illinois Family Planning Action Plan (IFPAP), which introduced payments and operational policies to provide the most effective form of contraception and make family planning options available to Medicaid clients in a convenient and seamless manner. Hamos also announced changes in HFS rates and operational policies, including doubling provider reimbursement rates for IUDs and vasectomies.

The first panel featured Kai Tao, Senior Policy Advisor to Director Julie Hamos at Illinois Healthcare and Family Services, and Sadia Haider, Family Planning Medical Director with the Illinois Department of Public Health's Office of Women's Health. This session highlighted the goal that every pregnancy should be a planned pregnancy. Ms. Tao talk focused on the Colorado Department of Public Health initiative to help low income women obtain LARC methods, and she supplemented this data by dispelling provider misconceptions and practices. Dr. Haider serves as the Medical Director for the Title X program in Illinois, and she discussed the relevance of Title X despite the ratification of the ACA. Dr. Haider reminded the attendees that action is needed to continue supporting and funding Title X, as it is vulnerable and has been underfunded for years.

The second Summit panel featured Lorie Chaiten, Director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU, and Brigid Leahy, Director of Government Relations at Planned Parenthood. Chaiten focused on the recent United States Supreme Court Hobby Lobby case and the impact on access to contraception. Leahy spoke on patient experiences under the Affordable Care Act.

 Closing remarks were provided by Janine H. Lewis.

The Summit was made possible by Emlyn Eisenach and The Irving Harris Foundation.

Videography by: Philip Ehrenberg, Ci3


Honoring Women's Reproductive Health and Freedom

Our past spring conferences brought clinicians, researchers, policymakers, and reproductive health advocates together to hear about the latest research, interventions, and policy prescriptions on a timely issue.

The chosen topics aimed to anticipate and guide the direction of research related to family planning and reproductive health. Past conferences have highlighted issues as diverse as health care reform, global reproductive health, reproductive justice, and the use of new media in sex education. The latter has given rise to a special issue of the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy and to research and programming within the Section on sexuality education.

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